Medium-sized marsh bird, plump and chickenlike. Slaty gray below and brown above. Note bright red legs and long greenish-yellow bill. Most similar to Plumbeous Rail but lacks red on base of bill. Found in marshy habitats including pastures and rice fields. Secretive but sometimes seen feeding at the edge of dense grasses; flicks tail when it walks. More often heard than seen: listen for loud, grating squeals.