Measuring 16.5 centimetres long, the male has a naked blue crown and a “fan” of pale yellow feathers on his black nape. Its back is glossy red sided with black. Its wing feathers are black and red. Its tail is black with a pair of central, elongated and curved feathers. Below its black head there is a glossy green breast shield with a few blue spots. The under parts are purple-brown. The female lacks the ornamental plumes and are generally brown above and yellowish barred with brown below.
A polygamous bird, not much is known regarding its breeding habit. Like other species of the Birds of Paradise group, it proudly displays its ornamental feathers to woo a female for mating.
The species is commonly widespread in the Waigeo and Batanta areas of Papua.