A small bird with a very long blue tail that is held cocked. Breeding male has a bright pale-blue helmet, black breast, purple back, and chestnut shoulders. Small pale tips are sometimes visible on the tail. Over much of the species’s inland range, females are overall grayish birds with pale fronts and long blue tails; however, females of the subspecies found in the sandstone regions of the Kimberley and Arnhem Land have contrasting blue crowns and backs. This species occurs over much of arid inland Australia and is found in open vegetation.