A small, pudgy, blackish waterbird with reddish eyes, a yellowish bill, and diagnostic pink-red legs. The immature is browner, with duller legs and bill. It scuttles along the edges of swamps and other water bodies, preferring reedbeds and emergent vegetation to forage on, sometimes quite boldly. Like most crakes, it walks tentatively with its head lowered, picking and probing for insects, plant matter, and other food. The distinctive call is an odd, wheezy bubbling and chattering “cheeew-t-t-t-t treeew, t-t-t-t-t-treew”.