A compact, cryptically-colored, very shy bird of grassy areas, including both natural meadows and some agricultural fields, where it remains hidden from view on the ground unless flushed at close range. Both sexes brown overall with a pale face, long white eyebrows, and subtle stippling and striping on the back and breast. Breeding males have a reddish-brown face and throat. Vocal mostly during the breeding season; males give a dry, explosive three-noted song from cover. Flushed birds fly with noisy, whistling wings, unlike crakes or shorebirds. Compare buttonquail, which have pale upperwing coverts. Introduced to Hawaii, found on all of the main islands. A common avicultural bird, so escapees may occur around the world.