Very slightly larger than the Southern Common Babbler, and easily distinguish from both it and the rufous Babbler by its mainly black beak, dark grey legs, grey head, and dark reddish-brown back, wings and tail. It is also a neater-looking bird.
Like the two preceding babblers, it lives in flocks, and is a noisy bird keeping up a constant flow of 'babblings', squeaks, and chatterings, which can easily be mistaken for those of the Rufous Babbler - and which inhabits the same jungles.
The breeding season is in the first quarter the year. Ashy-headed Laughing Thrush's nest was found only in 1984. It was on a thin tree about 15 feet high. It was an untidy football-sized mass of twigs and leaves with a neat nest-cup on top. The turquoise-blue eggs are measure about 25×18 mm.
It is confined to the deep forests of the wet zone and the adjacent mountains where, on the southern and western aspects of the main range, it ascends to at least 5,000 feet.