This is a beautiful bird that is often seen flying or perched on exposed branches or telephone wires in open areas. The adult birds have green feathers overall, with a blue tail, a thin black mask, and a rufous throat. When in flight, their bright rufous underwings are visible. Juvenile birds are similar in appearance but paler, with a tannish throat and a shorter tail that lacks the elongated central tail feathers of adults. These birds have a distinctive shape, with broad and sharply pointed wings, a long tail, and a long bill. They nest in colonies in sandbanks and their sweet, clipped “cheer-it” call can be heard in series.