The white-crested laughingthrush (Garrulax leucolophus) is a member of the family Leiothrichidae. It is a highly social and vocal bird found in forest and scrub from the Himalayan foothills to Southeast Asia.
Like other birds in its genus, G. leucolophus has a stocky build, with strong blackish legs and bill, rounded tail, and voluminous plumage. Its body length averages 30 cm, and its tail ranges from 13 to 15 cm.
It is named after its characteristic white hood and raised crest. It is also easily recognizable due to its broad and elongated black eye-mask. The mantle, back and underparts from the lower breast down are rufescent, contrasting with the white head, throat and upper chest and fading into darker olive-brown on the tail and upper wings. The nape is light gray.
Females look almost identical to males but have a smaller crest, duller mantle, and slightly more pronounced gray on the nape. Juveniles can be identified by their shorter crest and tail, paler mask, brownish nape and brighter mantle.
Subspecies have subtle variations in plumage: G. l. patkaicus' mantle is a darker, richer chestnut; G. l. belangeri has white extending lower onto the belly and paler underparts; G. l. diardi even more so and with a brighter upper mantle.