A delicate-looking long-tailed shrike with striking black-and-white plumage. The male has rich rusty breast and sides. Female like male but duller, with juvenile grayer and more barred on the upperparts and sides. Often pumps its long tail. Forages mainly on arthropods, which it locates from prominent perches. Breeds in thick Mediterranean scrub. During migration seen in various habitats including gardens and arid zones.