Has a dark cap, with white supercilia which join at nape, black bill and legs. In flight, white secondaries contrast with black primaries and sandy-brown upperwing-coverts and black tail band is evident. Adult breeding has yellow wash to sides of head, and black-and-maroon patch on belly. Non-breeders and juveniles have duller head patterns, white bellys and streaked breasts. Juvenile additionally has prominent buff fringes and dark subterminal crescents to scapulars and coverts.
Feeding behaviour is similar to that of Red-wattled. Dry fallow fields, stubbles and scrub desert. Globally threatened.
Winter visitor, now mainly to Pakistan and N and NW India.
Rather quiet away.