Male is strikingly unique with his bold black-and-white patterning. Female is unique in her plainness: somber gray-brown above with pale underparts and a slightly cinnamon tint to the rump. Breeds in broadleaf, coniferous, and mixed forests in foothills and montane areas. Himalayan birds descend into lower foothills in the winter. Sallies from exposed perches in the upper and middle levels of the forest and moves with mixed flocks in the non-breeding season. Vocalizations are variable, and include a series of high notes followed by buzzing and tinkling notes (“chi-chi-chi-brr-titititi”), a steadily accelerating series of chiming notes, and a series of clear bell-like phrases followed by a short buzzy sputtering. Calls include high notes and rolling low rattles.