The two narrow, black bands ringing the upper breast are diagnostic. Its head is marked only with a creamy eyebrow stripe. The wing and back feathers are dark with contrasting, pale creamy buff edges. In flight the uppertail coverts are conspiciously white; the inner primaries and all the secundaries are chestnut.
Juvenile has chestnut breast bands.
Dry, open areas, including deserts.
A thin, falling and rising 'teeu-wee' whistle and repeated 'kee-kee' notes.