A long, slender honeyeater of upper montane forest and shrubland. All black with a long tail, long, thin, slightly curved bill and a blue eye-ring with a small red spot behind. Forages singly at all levels in the vegetation and often cocks its tail. Similar to Short-bearded and Long-bearded Honeyeaters, but Sooty Melidectes is smaller and lacks the white beard. Call, harsh rasping notes.