Large black-and-white wagtail with an intricately and uniquely striped head pattern. Wings and outer tail feathers flash brightly in flight. Adult male is black-backed, while the female and immature have a duller gray-brown back. Simple song is a compilation of a few high phrases of whistles and twitters. Call is harsh and buzzy. Found only around flowing lowland rivers with braided rocky sections, specifically a unique composite of gravel and sand bars with low vegetation and boulders.