Very similar to mangrove kingfisher, but unlikely to be found in the same habitat. It differs in having a black lower mandible (not an all red bill) and a much paler head with a black stripe extending from the base of the bill, through and slightly behind the eye. Rarely has an all-red bill, but these birds can be distinguished by the predominantly blue, not grey, head.
Juvenile has a dusky, reddish-brown bill.
Non-aquatic; woodland and savanna with tall trees.
A loud, piercing 'trrp-trrrrrrrrrrrr', the latter part descending.