A medium-sized honeyeater of lowland and foothill forest edge and gardens. Upperparts dark brown and lower parts gray-brown. Dark head has thin white streaking on the crown and a distinctive white stripe on the face. Thought to mimic the appearance of the New Guinea Friarbird, but Streak-headed Honeyeater is much smaller. Also similar to the juvenile Brown Oriole, but Streak-headed Honeyeater lacks the streaking on the throated and chest. Varied vocalizations including series of repeated notes or strong, whistled, short phrases.