Most individuals are either olive above and yellow below or brown above and white below, but intermediates do occur. The bill is thin and weak in comparison with that of icterine warbler. The distinct yellow on the underparts is restricted to the throat and breast, with the belly mainly dull white. The bill is markedly shorter than that of icterine warbler and the legs are brownish rather than bluish grey.
Juvenile has the underparts yellow; the eyebrow stripe and face are much brighter yellow than those of adult.
Wide range of broad-leaved woodland and dry thornveld habitats.
A soft 'hoeet hoeet' and a short, melodious song, descending in scale.