A strange long-legged buttonquail that resembles a hybrid between gamebird and shorebird – hence its name. If seen well, the brown-and-cream-scalloped upperparts, the pale-yellow bill and legs, and the off-white eyebrow, belly, and wing edge are distinctive. Most typically seen when disturbed, either running at high speed when it could be mistaken for a lark, or in flight when the bold black-and-white wing pattern and fluttering zig-zag flight render it unmistakable. Scarce and local, with movements poorly understood; found in open grassland and grassy shrubland. Mostly silent, but a low whistle has been described.