Colour varies considerably, but the long, slightly decurved bill, white throat contrasting strongly with the darker breast and belly, and the short, dark tail tipped with white are diagnostic. It has a very upright stance.
Sexes alike, but male larger than female. Juvenile is mottled with white above and below.
Grassland, Karoo shrublands and desert grassland on gravel plains.
A thrilling 'trrrep, trrrep' flight call.