Compact kingfisher with a dark blue back and rufous underparts. The color of the back varies geographically, and can be purple-blue or paler blue. Found along forested streams and rivers and in mangroves. Secretive, solitary, and generally uncommon. Call is a high-pitched “seet.” Larger than Malachite Kingfisher, with a black bill. Similar to juvenile Malachite, which has a dark bill, but Shining-blue has a dark face without any orange.