In flight the back, with its white stripe bordered by black, is diagnostic. At rest it differs from Speckled and Red-faced Zousebirds by its whitish bill, grey head and upperparts and red feet.
Juvenile resembles adult.
Thornveld, fynbos scrub and semi-desert.
This bird is inclined to hang upside down while feeding, like a parrot or a cockatoo.
A whistling 'zwee-wewit.