The Forest Kingfisher - Todiramphus macleayii - has rich blue back, wings and tail; throat, collar and under parts are white, belly and flanks may be washed buff. Top of head is deep blue; broad black band through eye; white patch in front of eye. In females the collar is incomplete at the back of the neck. Juveniles have fine buff coloured scallops on forehead and shoulders. Size 17 to 23 centimetres.
In flight, white wing patches are visible.
Hunts from exposed perches in open country, dives to ground or shallow water to take prey. Does not necessarily hunt in rivers and waterways in the way other kingfisher species do. Conspicuous and noisy in breeding season.
Lives in open forest and woodland, preferably near rivers, margins of swamps or billabongs but also lives in mangroves and on farmland.
Two variants are known, macleayii inhabits the northern part of the Northern Territory; incinctus lives along the east coast from Cape York to southern Victoria along the coastal strip and the western slopes of the Great Divide. macleayii is sedentary and common; incinctus is partly migratory; some birds winter in New Guinea being absent from south east Australia and fewer in the north while they are away.