A tall, tawny-brown, terrestrial, plover-like bird with bold, blackish spots on the upperparts and without wing bars. It prefers a variety of drier country habitats up to 2500 m; avoids wetlands. Its huge yellow eyes hint at its mainly nocturnal habits. By day this odd species uses its cryptic plumage to conceal itself under cover. After dark, it emerges to run around feeding on insects. Spotted Thick-knee has a loud, distinctive “ti-ti-ti teeeteeeteeee-ti ti ti” call.