A large and vocal babbler of montane rainforest and shrubby edges. Note warm russet brown upperparts, a white throat blending to pale buff underparts, white-bordered black mask, and bright red bill. Forages actively in the dense midstorey, sometimes in mixed species flocks, and can be difficult to see well. Occasionally descends to the ground to rummage through fallen leaves. Can be readily mistaken for the similar Red-billed Scimitar-Babbler, but note Brown-crowned’s thicker bill and pale buff rather than white chest. Often gives harsh grating or excited chattering calls, as well as soft, oriole-like notes.