Size: L: 35 cm. Wt: 350-550g. Males and females similar. This species is seasonally dimorphic.

Breeding Adult: head brown, with black chin; body brown, with short, stubby tail; bill stout, blunt, blue-grey, with black band; eyes black, with pale blue-grey eye-ring

Winter Adult: head brown, with whitish chin; body as in breeding adult; bill and eye-ring yellowish

Juvenile: similar to winter adult, but throat redder; no eye ring; head and neck streaked with brown and white.

Chick: precocial and downy; body streaked black and white; red markings on crown and nape; bill yellow.