A gray-brown bushshrike with rufous wings, a bold pale eyebrow, and a diagnostic brown central crown that is bordered by black stripes. Pairs skulk close to the ground, where they hop and glean for insects in scrub, tangled thickets, and open woodland. The species is more terrestrial than other tchagras. It performs a descending spiral aerial display, making a “prrrrrp” rattle sound with its fluttering wings before singing a rapid descending series of 15–20 musical “chee-ree” notes as the bird returns to the ground. The similar Southern Tchagra differs from the smaller Brown-crowned Tchagra by having a larger, stouter bill and a plain brown central crown lacking black border stripes.