This sparrow-sized rail moves like a ghost through grassy meadows and wetlands. Prefers to run instead of fly, but white wing patches are unmistakable if seen. Flight is weak with dangling legs, drops into cover quickly. Belly is white with brown bars on the sides and upperparts are darker brown with fine white stripes. Voice is the only way to detect this species; its repertoire is varied, with grunts, squeals, and tapping notes.