The black forehead and crown and the paler upperparts differentiate it from other tchagras. it is also a larger, bolder bird and is more conspicuous in its behaviour.
Juvenile has a mottled crown and a horn-coloured bill.
Mixed thornveld and riverine scrub.
Song consists of a loud, whistled 'whee-cheree, cherooo, cheree-cherooo' on a descending scale, becoming slurred towards the end.