The Bachman's sparrow is a large sparrow with a large bill, and a fairly flat forehead. It has a long, dark rounded tail. The chest is gray and heavily streaked with chestnut or dark brown. The sides of the head are buffy-gray with a thin dark line extending back from the eye. This sparrow is more reddish in Missouri--the northwestern part of the range--and grayer and darker in the south. Juveniles have a distinct light-colored eye ring and dark streaked throat, breast and sides.