Fairly common but elusive; heard far more often than seen. Favors native temperate forest and adjacent shrubbery, especially bamboo. Feeds on the ground by scratching with its big feet in leaf litter, and runs very quickly and stealthily. Agitated birds can call loudly from middle level perches, cocking their tail. Nests in burrows, but can nest high up in tree hollows. Plumage distinctive, with pale eyering, dark slaty throat and breast, and rusty belly. No range overlap with Chestnut-throated Huet-huet.