This is a slender and elegant bird that is often seen perched on exposed snags or telephone wires or in flight. It has a green overall color, blue tail, thin black mask, and a rufous throat. During flight, bright rufous underwings are visible. Juvenile birds are similar but paler with a tannish throat and shorter tail, lacking the adult’s elongated central tail feathers. The flying bird has a distinctive shape with broad, sharply pointed wings, a long tail, and a long bill. This bird nests colonially in sandbanks, and its voice is a sweet, clipped “cheer-it” sometimes given in series.