A drab, greyish brown bird which at close range shows glossy, bronze wing coverts. The face is grey, and a white stripe runs from the bill base to below and behind the eye. The long, dark, decurved bill has a red ridge on the upper mandible.
Juvenile and immature lack the red on the bill and the bronze on the wings.
Diverse: forest clearings, woodland, savanna, open grassland, farmland and suburban gardens.
One of the most familiar calls in parts of Africa. Noisy in flight, uttering a loud 'ha-ha-ha-dah-da'.