Size: L: 20 cm. Wt: 45-50 g. Males and females are slightly dimorphic in breeding plumage pattern, but difficult to tell in the field. This species is seasonally dimorphic.

Breeding Adult: upperparts dark brown, with black bands over forehead and top of bill, and black or blackish-brown band encircling upper breast; underparts, forehead, eyebrow and nape white; bill short, straight, orange with black tip; legs orange

Winter Adult: upperparts dark brown, with brown band encircling upper breast; underparts, forehead, eyebrow, and nape white; bill dark; legs orange

Juvenile: similar to winter adult, but back appears scaly; legs greyish, may have hints of orange