The long, thin neck and legs are diagnostic. The back of both sexes is spotted and barred. Male has dusky throat with a black line extending down the centre of the foreneck to join the back breast and belly; the underwings are predominantly black.
Male in its slow display flight, shows the striking and diagnostic large, white patches in the primaries, visible from above and below. There is extensive white in the upperwing coverts, but underwing coverts are wholly black. Female is plainer, with a brown head and neck, and white underparts. Female can be distinguished from other bustards and korhaans in flight by its combination of white underparts and black underwingcoverts. Juvenile resembles female.
Woodland an tall open grassland.
A short, sharp 'chikk, followed by a'pop'.