Has a dark cap, with white supercilia which join at nape, black bill and legs. In flight, white secondaries contrast with black primaries and sandy-brown upperwing-coverts and black tail band is evident. Adult breeding has yellow wash to sides of head, and black-and-maroon patch on belly. Non-breeders and juveniles have duller head patterns, white bellys and streaked breasts. Juvenile additionally has prominent buff fringes and dark subterminal crescents to scapulars and coverts.