Like many other cuckoos, this species is most often detected by its song, a short phrase of jumbled notes, often likened to “eat-your-choKY-pepper!”, with the latter half being significantly louder than the former half. Most adults are gray with black-barred white underparts and dark eyes. Some females are bright rufous above with dark bars across the wings and back. Juvenile is brownish above and often has faint white edging to the wing feathers. Averages smaller but also more compact and stumpy in shape than other similar cuckoos. Sings and forages in the canopy of lowland and foothill forests.