Medium-sized honeyeater with a black hood and tiny black mark on chin. There are two subspecies which have significant visual differences. The subspecies in southeastern Australia has an olive back and blue skin around the eye. The "Golden-backed" (laetior) subspecies in northern Australia has a bright yellow back and yellow-green skin around the eye. This species is usually first detected by its loud insect-like call, a repeated "chir chir chir chir".