The magnificent color pattern of the males is often difficult to detect and males instead appear mostly black. In proper lighting, one can see the sparkling aqua of the uppertail, violet-blue throat patch, and glittering pink belly. Females are mostly greenish black with aqua uppertails, cinnamon underparts, and pink spotting on the belly. These large hummingbirds are usually solitary, but they often forage near mixed species flocks as they visit scattered low flowers. They are inhabitants of cloud and dwarf forests, shrubby slopes, and hedges and gardens near houses.