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Its body plumage is mainly grey. The wings are also predominantly white, but contain feathers with a range of colours. The head has a crown of stiff golden feathers. The sides of the face are white, and there is a bright red inflatable throat pouch. The bill is relatively short and grey, and the legs are black.
It can be found in dry savannah in Africa south of the Sahara, although it nests in somewhat wetter habitats.