A round, softly-colored inhabitant of rice fields, wet shrubby areas, and reedbeds. Despite its use of sheltered habitats, this is one of the bolder rails, and can be seen wandering in the open. The upperparts are brown and the face, breast, and belly are gray. Yellow-based bill is also often surprisingly visible even when hidden in vegetation. Constantly cocks tail upwards and downwards as it forages.