It is a small bird with a harsh sound that can grow up to 20 cm high but has twice the size of a wingspread. It has thin, long blue-grey legs, quite common for riverine waders. Blue-grey repeats on the top wing coverts. The chest and belly are creamy, while white and black stripes are most evident on the head. Juvenile birds' mantle, crown and wing-coverts can appear rusty in colour.
Their most common habitat and breading area are sandbars in large rivers, where they can be spotted singly, in pairs or in small groups. They are typical for irregular movement across different aquatic areas, mainly depending on the changes in water levels.