A plump, mostly ground-dwelling bird with long yellowish legs and a dark gray body with slightly browner wash on the wings and back. Head mostly dark gray, with bright orange beak and whitish crest. Good views may show blood-red bare skin around the eye and throat. Found in mature woodland with open understory. Nests on crater lake islands. Resident, with no record of vagrancy. Very vocal, most frequently heard in groups giving chorus of loud piping whistles and shrill cries. Calls are usually a staccato one-note whistle. Unmistakable, as it is the only scrubfowl in its range.