Adult upperparts are streaked with gray, dark brown and tan, with a dark-streaked crown having a narrow white central crown stripe. The eyebrow is white with varying amounts of yellow. The tail is short and notched. Underparts are white, with dark streaks on the sides of the throat and breast. Often, the streaks form a central breast spot, making it closely resemble a song sparrow. The song is high-pitched, with two or three introductory "chip" notes followed by two buzzy trills, the second lower than the first. The call is a high "tseep."