11 cm; 10–14 g (nominate). Nominate race is mostly light brown above, headnormally more tawny, crown scaly, upperwingduller earth-brown with variable brownish bars, outer and central remiges and outer greater coverts blackish-brown, tertials with pale fringe at tip, rump black, long, pointed tail black; face and throat tan, breast to belly and undertail-coverts whitish, flanks light buff; iris dark brown, orbital ring light cerulean blue to mid-grey; bill pale silvery bluish-grey overall, to dark grey on most of upper mandible and distal part of lower mandible and light greyish-blue on basal part of lower mandible; legs grey to pinkish. Sexes alike. Juvenile is similar to adult, but rump and undertail-coverts mottled brown, central rectrices shorter and slightly rounded, bill grey. Race orientalisis darker than nominate, barring abovemore distinct.