Small pale sandy-colored shrike. Male is gray-brown above with a black mask and unmarked pale underparts that contrast with a bright cinnamon tail. Female is similar, but with a paler mask, grayer upperparts, and faint barring on the sides. Both sexes have pale underparts. Red-tailed Shrike looks similar, but male Red-tailed Shrikes have a contrasting warm brownish crown and females average whiter on the underparts. Female Red-backed Shrikes also have a warmer brown back and more prominent scaling patterns on a white breast and belly than Isabelline Shrikes. Typically found in dry brushy areas. Song composed of various whistles, warbles, and mimicry; calls are harsh and sometimes nasal.