A small to medium-sized woodshrike with grayish-brown upperparts, white rump, and gray tail with white outer tail feathers. It has strongly hooked bill, dark grayish-brown in color. The underparts are white. A black facial mask runs over the eyes, as in the Malabar Woodshrike, but Common also shows a prominent white supercilium. It is usually found in dry forested areas and shrublands.