Slightly larger and more powerful looking than the common fiscal. The gray cap and back are very distinctive. These are predacious passerines are capable of taking small reptiles and rodents as well as big grasshoppers and other insects.
The grey-backed fiscal is a sociable bird and is often found in wooded grassland, gardens and damp acacia scrub. It is often seen in pairs or small groups on tree stumps, wires and branches, engaged in wing fluttering, tail waving and noisy babble. It is a gregarious, cooperative breeder. Nests are built up to 10 m off the ground, near the trunk of the tree or on peripheral branches. The female builds the nest while the male may bring nesting materials and food for the female. A clutch of about four eggs is laid. Incubation is by the female and lasts about fourteen days, with the young remaining in the nest for a further twenty days.