The dark head and breast, bright blue bill and eye-ring, and chestnut back and tail are diagnostic. The male loses its long tail in the non-breeding season.
Female has a shorter tail and duller blue eye-ring and bill. Juvenile is duller than female.
Evergreen, coastal and riverine forests and bush; suburban gardens.
Alarm a harsh 'zweet-zweet-zwayt', similar to that of blue-manteled crested flycatcher; song a loud twee-tiddly-te-te'.