Black and white plumage; mostly black upperparts; mostly white underparts; black eye-mask; short crest; large, black bill; black legs. Males have two black breast bands, while females have one. Juveniles have duller bands.
Noisy. Occasionally roosts in flocks. Hovers over water and dives to catch prey.
Pied kingfishers feed mainly on fish and other aquatic animals.
Near water and trees in northwestern Jordan, including the Jordan River Valley and King Talal Dam. Nests in burrows on river banks.