Attractive and unusual helmetshrike with a bright red bill, a black back, and chestnut on the underparts. In the eastern part of the range, has more white on the underparts and more black on the face. In the west, has more chestnut below, and more gray on the face. Found in the canopy of lowland and mid-elevation humid forest. Almost always in pairs or small groups. The complex and varied calls include whistles, rasps, and chirps. Separated from other helmetshrikes by the chestnut underparts.