This is a bird of stony semi-desert and higher altitude cultivation. Its nest is on the ground, with 3-4 eggs being laid. Food is seeds and insects, the latter especially in the breeding season. It is gregarious in winter.
This is a large, robust lark, 16–18 cm in length. It is an undistinguished looking species on the ground, mainly streaked grey above and white below, and with two small black patches on the breast sides, which give this species its name. It has a white supercilium.
In flight it shows short broad wings, which are grey-brown below, and a short tail with a white tip, but not white edges. The wing and tail patterns are distinctions from its more westerly relative.
The song is like a harder version of that of calandra lark.