A thick-billed, sparrow-sized songbird. Male has a black hood, a white throat, pale gray upperparts, and a white underside. Female is rufous-brown above and whitish underneath, with dark chest streaking. Juvenile resembles a pale-billed female. Found in varied wooded habitats and forest, where pairs or single birds frequent the understory and subcanopy. Male distinguished from male Golden and Yellow-throated Whistlers by gray back and white underside. Female separated from female Golden and Yellow-throated Whistlers and from Fawn-breasted Whistler by streaked breast and strongly rufous-toned upperparts. Song is a series of strident whistles, including “choo” and “chwee” notes, sometimes in a jumbled series.