Sexes alike. Deep chestnut-maroon back; broad black forehead-band, continuing through eyes to ear-coverts; grey crown and neck, separated from black by small white patch; white rump distinctive; black wings with white in outer flight feathers; white underbody, fulvous on breast and flanks. Solitary or in scattered pairs in open terrain; keeps lookout from a perch on some tree stump, overhead wire or bush top, usually under 4m off ground; pounces once potential prey is sighted; usually devours prey on ground, tearing it; sometimes carries it to perch; keeps to fixed territories, defended aggressively.
Open country, light forests, scrub.
Subcontinent, up to about 1,800m in the Himalaya; absent in the NE.
Harsh churr; lively warble of breeding male; sometimes imitates other bird calls.