The morepork is 26 to 29 cm (10 to 11.5 in) long, with female slightly larger than the male. She is slightly heavier, too, at 170-216 g compared with the male's 140-156 g. The morepork has generally dark brown head and upperparts, with pale brown spots on head and neck and white markings on the rest of the upperparts, with a pale yellow-white supercilium (eyebrow), dark brown ear coverts, and buff cheeks. The eyes are yellow to golden-yellow. The feathers of the chin and throat are buff with dark brown shafts. The feathers of the underparts are mostly dark brown with buff and white spots and streaks, with the larger markings on the belly making it look paler overall. The upper tail is dark brown with lighter brown bars. The cere and bill is pale blue-grey with a black cutting edge. The feet are orange or yellow with blackish claws. Young moreporks do not attain adult plumage properly until their third or fourth year. The tips of juvenile's feathers are white and fluffy, remnants of the nestlings' down. These are worn away over time, persisting longest on the head. The feathers of the head, neck, and underparts are fluffier overall. Their plumage is a darker and more greyish brown overall than that of adults.