This is a medium-sized warbler. The adult has a heavily streaked brown back and pale underparts. The forehead is flattened, there is a prominent whitish supercilium, and the bill is strong and pointed. The sexes are identical, as with most warblers, but young birds are streaked on the breast below. Like most warblers, it is insectivorous, but will take other small food items including berries.
The song is a fast, chattering jirra-jirra-jirra punctuated with typically acrocephaline whistles and mimicry.