Attractive but rather local little bird of scrubby habitats and dense hedgerows in lowland desert. Mostly stays well hidden, hopping low to high in bushes and trees, tail sometimes held cocked. Sings from atop a bush or other prominent low perch. Readily identified by long spiky crest with a flashy white median patch. Male has solidly black face and throat while female has a whitish face and throat with black streaks. Immature has a plainer face with a whitish throat and shorter crest, but still has a big white flash in crest.