White-browed Scrubwrens are mostly dark olive-brown above, while the throat is buff grey and the flanks, belly and rump are dull rufous. They have a white line above the eye and another below the eye. The area around the eye between the lines is black, becoming greyer near the ear. The eye is light cream. Males and females are similar, but the females are slightly duller, particularly on the face. Subtropical and tropical populations are more yellow underneath, males having an almost black facial mask. Other populations along the southern coastline have dark streaking on the throat. Young White-browed Scrubwrens are similar to the adults, but are generally duller, with more chocolate-brown backs and duskier faces.
The Large-billed Scrubwren, Sericornis magnirostris, shares part of its range with the White-browed Scrubwren. It is lighter, largely uniform brown in colour and lacks any markings on the face. The larger Yellow-throated Scrubwren, S. citreogularis, has a red-brown eye, is darker on the face and has a yellow wash on the throat, eyebrow and wings.
The White-browed Scrubwren is the most common and widespread of Australia's five species of scrubwren. Its range extends from northern Queensland, in a broad coastal band through South Australia to the mid Western Australian coast, and Tasmania.
The White-browed Scrubwren lives in rainforest, open forest, woodland and heaths. It is usually seen in pairs, low down in the thick vegetation.
White-browed Scrubwrens feed mostly on insects and other small arthropods. Occasionally, they eat some seeds. Birds feed in pairs among the thick vegetation of the forest floor.
The nest of the White-browed Scrubwren consists of a large ball of grasses and other plant material, a side entrance tunnel leading to a cup lined with feathers. This is normally located on or near to the ground, in thick vegetation, but may be in a tree fork a few metres high. The eggs are pale blue to pale purple and are spotted with brown at the base.