The sexes of this large, strong-legged, long-tailed chat of rocky inselbergs and boulder-strewn woodland look different. The striking male has glossy black upperparts and chestnut underparts and rump, and in some areas a bold white shoulder patch and white crown. The female is duller, with slaty gray-brown upperparts and deeper rufous underparts, and lacks the white shoulder patch. This bird has a distinctive habit of slowly lifting its tail. It is often detected by its loud, complex, melodic song, sometimes given in duet, and often including imitations of other species. The White-winged Cliff-Chat, restricted to northeast Africa, differs from Mocking Cliff-Chat by having white patches in the wing feathers in both sexes.