Male: black plumage; white in wing, rump and belly. Female: brown above, paler on lores; darker tail; dull yellow-brown below, with a rusty wash on breast and belly. Solitary or in pairs; perches on a bush, overhead wire, pole or some earth mound; makes short sallies on to ground, either devouring prey on ground or carrying it to perch; active, sometimes guards feeding territories in winter; flicks and spreads wings; fascinating display flight of courting male (April–May).
open country, scrub, cultivation, ravines.
subcontinent, from outer Himalaya to about 1,500m.
harsh, double-noted call serves as contact and alarm call; short, trilling song of breeding male.