A bulky black shrike with scattered white patches on the shoulders and wings and a very long, floppy tail. The sexes have differently colored flanks: females white, males black. Small groups of 3 to 10 sit upright on perches 1 to 5 meters high in grassy open savanna and sparse broadleaf woodland. Perch-and-wait predators, they drop onto insect and small vertebrate prey, and often move locally into recently burned areas to forage. The species gives a shrill starling- or parrot-like “pleeee-eouuu,” often produced by more than one bird at once, and also gives harsh grating cries.