The upperparts are unstreaked plain brown, although the flight feathers have narrow white edges. The head has a long whitish supercilium, a concealed yellow crown stripe, and a dusky mask through the eyes. The throat is white, and there is a white malar stripe. The underparts are whitish with blurred brownish streaking on the breast and flanks. The dark bill is short and broad.
The call is an upslurred weeEEE given from a high perch for long periods of the day, or sometimes a monotonous weep weep weep.
Piratic Flycatchers wait on an exposed perch high in a tree, occasionally sallying out to feed on fruit, their staple diet. The young are fed on insects.
<blockquote>Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. </blockquote>