Todies range in weight from 5 to 7 g and in length from 10 to 11.5 cm. They have colourful plumage, and resemble kingfishers in their general shape. They have green heads, backs and wings, red throats (absent in immature Puerto Rican, broad-billed, and narrow-billed todies) with a white and blue-grey stripe on each side, and yellow undertail coverts the colour of the rest of the undersides is pale and varies according to species. The irises are pale grey. They have long, flattened bills (as do many flycatching birds) with serrated edges the upper mandible is black and the lower is red with a little black. The legs, and especially the feet, are small. Todies are highly vocal, except that the Jamaican tody seldom calls in the non-breeding season (August to November) they give simple, unmusical buzzing notes, beeps, and guttural rattles, puffing their throats out with every call. Their wings produce a "strange, whirring rattle", though mostly when courting or defending territory in the Puerto Rican tody.