A small, dull babbler with a short tail. Brown with a gray head and pale underparts. Dark gray crown, faintly streaked breast, and brighter buffy wash on the flanks eliminate similar-looking Abbott’s Babbler. Similarly drab White-chested and Sooty-capped babblers have longer tails and bills. Found in lowland and foothill forests. Typical song is a sharp chip followed by a whistled note or two: “chi puh-weee!”; Javan birds add a longer, ascending whistle to the end.