A small cuckoo of montane rainforest. Compact with a pale rufous throat and underparts with broad dark bands on a white background all the way to the tail. Sits motionless for long periods scanning for insect prey but sometimes joins mixed species flocks. Co-occurs with White-eared Bronze-Cuckoo but Rufous-throated lacks the white ear crescents and of course has the rufous throat. Voice, high piping notes, either level “peep!” or falling “piuu!” given singly or in a series.