A medium sparrow, streaked olive-gray, pale buff underparts, streaks on breast and side. Head has yellow streak between eye, bill. Long bill, thick base. Short, pointed tail. Short flights, alternates rapidly beating wings with wings pulled to sides. Year round populations are found along the Gulf Coast of Florida west to Texas, and along the Atlantic Coast from Florida north to the Carolinas. Northernmost birds usually move further south in the winter. Fairly common resident in coastal marshes. Accidental vagrant to inland areas.