This heavily marked thrush is easily identified when seen well. Females average duller than males, but both sexes have a dark cheek on an overall white face, brown upperparts (strongly rufous-tinted in males), bright rufous wings, and dark underparts densely marked with white chevrons. Much darker than scarce Naumann's Thrush, with which it may associate and sometimes hybridizes. Very vocal, delivering loud chattering notes in both songs and calls. Breeds in taiga, tundra, and steppelands; winters in forests, as well as open habitat such as forest edges and fields.