Sexes alike; female larger. Blue-grey above; chestnut sides of head, crown, nape, cheekstripe diagnostic; wings pointed, outer flight feathers blackish, closely barred with white on inner webs; black-barred grey tail with narrow black bars has a broad, black terminal band edged with white; white below; lightly streaked breast, barred below. Pairs, usually hunt in concert; straight and strong flight.
Avoids dense forest, prefers open country, wide cultivated plains with groups of trees.
Resident; all India south of Himalayan foothills; commoner in Deccan; sometimes breeds in and around habitation.
Shrill trilling screams.