A medium-sized elegant wheatear with long wings and long legs. Strong sexual dimorphism: male is black and white with a white back, while female is gray-brown with gray upperparts and an increasing amount of dark feathering on throat as they mature. In all plumages note the narrow, evenly-broad black terminal tail band. Breeds on high, barren, rocky mountain slopes. In winter often descends to plains, steppes, and even semi-desert. Song is a mix of harsh scratches and musical whistles; often given from a prominent perch.