They are dark brown above and buff below, heavily marked with buff on the upper parts and grey-brown on the breast.The legs and feet are pinkish grey, and unlike other robin-chats, the soles of their feet are yellow.Immatures are like adults but retain some buff-tipped greater wing coverts.
Each passage, consisting of 4 to 10 syllables, starts with a low, slurred whistle, which is followed by an improvised succession of whistled notes.
From first light they usually sing from within, but near the top of a tree or bush, and at times uninterrupted for an hour or more.
It prefers the cover of vegetation, but is not very shy.
It is an accomplished songster like other robin-chats, but is rather less colourful than most, and frequents either dryer settings or higher altitudes.
It forages in the proximity of cover, in the open or in fairly well-lit environments.