The Black-eared Fairy is a medium-sized hummingbird that is strikingly white underneath, bright green above, and has black, wings, central tail, and ear patches, giving the species its common name. There are currently three described subspecies and there has been discussion to split them into several separate species, but a lack of genetic information has prevented scientists from doing so. The tail of the different subspecies varies in length, but all are proportionally long compared to the body. Found in wet, lowland forests, forest edges, and secondary forest, this species can be observed in the canopy, foraging on flowering shrubs, vines, and trees. This species has also been known to hawk insect prey in midair.