Kingfisher Bird is a small, dumpy bird with a short tail, short legs, a large head and a long powerful bill. Beautifully coloured, with a bright, pale blue back and uppertail that catch the attention when in flight, and a darker turquoise blue - which appears greenish in certain lights - on the crown, nape, wings and scapulars. The underparts of Kingfisher Bird are rufous-orange, as is the cheek, and the throat is white, with a white patch also on the neck to the rear of the cheek. Sits motionless while searching for fish, otherwise usually seen in fast direct flight low over the surface of the water.
Kingfisher Bird nests in a long burrow in a sandy bank, ideally along a slow-flowing fish-rich river or stream, with some trees or bushy margins to provide cover and fishing perches. Also found in other freshwater habitats, such as canals, lakes, reservoirs, dykes, ditches and fishponds, and outside the breeding season can sometimes be found in marine habitats, such as lagoons, sheltered rocky coasts and estuaries.
As is so often the case with brightly coloured birds, the calls of Kingfisher Bird are simple and uncomplicated. The commonly heard call is a sharp, high-pitched and penetrating whistle, a "tszeeee!" or "peeeep", extended into a repeated disyllabic "ti-peeee ti-peeee ti-peeee" or "zii!'eeeee! zii!'eeeee!", often given in flight. This call is frequently the first or only indication of the presence of the species as it zips past in a high-speed blur of blue. Kingfisher Bird also gives a softer and more conversational "pee-pee-pee". In spring it is occasionally heard to give a sweet and varied song of trilling whistles, and sometimes a rich warble, and it will engage in noisy chases during courtship.