It is common in open forest in the Himalayas, and migrates seasonally into peninsular India.
Males of this small thrush have uniform blue-grey upperparts, and a whitish belly and vent. Adults have yellow beak and legs while it may be darker in juveniles. There is a yellow eye-ring which is thinner and fainter than the Indian black bird which is usually bigger in size. Females and young birds have browner upperparts.
Populations move further south in India in winter. Tickell's thrushes are omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, earthworms and berries. They nest in bushes or similar. They do not form flocks but loose groups of two to five spread across.