A distinctive large forest kingfisher with entirely dark purplish upperparts, except for its white rump. Also shows clean white underparts and a vivid orange bill. Juveniles darker, less purple above, with yellowish bill, buff coloring on breast, and dark eyes. Occurs singly or in pairs inside lowland and foothill forest, including in degraded patches, within the upper levels of the understory. Conspicuous call is a “kow-kow-kow-kow…” given repeatedly, mostly early and late in the day.