Adult upperparts are grayish brown on tail and rump, grading into bright rufous red on head, nape and shoulders. A white eye ring is prominent on the black- and white-streaked cheek. Underparts are white, with large dark spots from the throat to the upper belly and along the sides and flanks. The melodious song often begins with several lower notes followed by a ringing “ee-o-lay,” with the second note lower than the others. This is often followed by a complex of “tings” and warbles. The call is “pit-pit-pit,” often repeated many times, or a variety of guttural notes.