A large, dark brown starling with upright posture that shows white under the short tail. Up close it has a pale eye, a yellow gape, and a dull greenish sheen on the shoulders. The juvenile is duller and lacks the pale eye. Normally the species is seen in small to large groups, feeding on the ground in open grassland and agricultural areas, often near domestic stock. It often breeds colonially and cooperatively, excavating tunnels in small sandbanks. The flight call is a characteristic loud “weeek-weeek” and the song is a combination of sweet and harsh notes.