A shrike-like and shrike-sized raptor that sits very upright on an exposed perch from which it hawks lizards and insects. Flight is undulating.
Male is grey above and white below. Female has a chestnut back. Juvenile resembles female but has a dull brown back and is washed rufous below.
Dry thornveld and semi-desert regions. Breeds in a chamber of Sociable Weaver nests, leaving telltale, white-washed rim around the nest entrance. Also found around Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver nests.
Noisy; a 'chip-chip' and a 'kik-kik-kik-kik' call.