Large, brownish hummingbird with a long tail. Pale gray below with strong facial markings and a contrasting rufous rump; broad white tail feather tips are a key field mark. Occurs in dry forest and along savanna edge, where it visits widely spaced nectar sources and is often seen moving rapidly between them. Notably curious and will often stop to assess a person before quickly moving on; amount of white in tail is especially evident as bird flies away. Males sing from low perches; song consists of two squeaking notes followed by three faster, higher-pitched ones, given in alternation, over and over. Flight call is a loud squeak, similar to other large hermits. Best told from Long-tailed and Great-billed hermits by paler, grayer coloration and extensive white in tail.