Small tchagra with a rufous back and buffy underparts. Males have a solidly black cap, and females a black-and-white striped cap. In the southern part of the range, the back is solidly rufous, while in the north, there is a black “V” across the shoulders. Found in a variety of moist habitats, including wet scrub, streamside vegetation, grassland, and marsh edge. Skulking, inconspicuous, and generally uncommon. The song is a short series of chatty whistles, given by the male in a display flight. Calls include low, raspy notes. Similar overall to other tchagras, but smaller and shorter-tailed.