Sexes alike. Black above; noticeable crest; white in wings and white tip to long tail feathers diagnostic in flight; white underbody. Young birds, seen in
autumn, are dull sooty-brown with indistinct crests; white areas dull fulvous. Solitary or in small parties of 4 to 6; arboreal; occasionally descends to ground to feed on insects; arrives just before SW monsoon by end of May; noisy and active, chasing one another; mobbed by crows on arrival.