Small, short-tailed shrike with a heavy-headed appearance. Found in lowland forests, edges, and parks. Male has an ash-gray head, an inky black mask, white underparts, and scaly chestnut wings. Female is less contrasting, with a patchy brown-and-gray crown, a smaller black mask, and black barring on the flanks and wings. Juveniles have brown heads and backs, and a brown-scaled belly; due to their lack of a mask, they have a large-eyed appearance. Juveniles can be similar to juvenile Bull-headed and Brown shrikes, but both of those species have faint but visible masks.