Uncommon, sandy-colored babbler of dry scrubby and weedy areas, often on hill- and mountain-sides. Readily distinguished from other brown birds in its range by its long tail, thickset appearance, pale brow, and faint dark streaking on the back. Looks like a faded version of the closely related Beijing Babbler (no range overlap). Forages on or close to the ground, often in small flocks. Varied repertoire includes a loud jumbled series of bright warbling calls, as well as bulbul-like chattering and high rattling twittering. Restricted to northwestern China.