Found in forest edge, farmland, and plains, this adaptable and elegant small shrike is a common sight across much of its range. Gray crown and back contrast sharply with white throat, black mask and wings, and bright orange sides. Noticeably smaller than Long-tailed Shrike, with which it shares its range; unlike that species, lacks orange on the back. Regularly perches on exposed perches such as telephone lines, posts, and snags. Song musical and variable, a series of buzzy, whistled, and warbled notes; incorporates mimicry of other species. Calls include repeated harsh chattering notes, as well as high barking and piping notes.