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This is a largish species at 39 cm. Its back and head are dark green, and the uppertail is green edged with white. The throat and belly are lighter green. There is a large blue patch around the eye and the bill is green. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are duller and barred above.
It is restricted to Sri Lanka and southern India. The blue-faced malkoha is a bird of open forests and scrub jungle. It nests in a thorn bush, the typical clutch being two, sometimes three, eggs.