A large, entirely dark, pale-billed rail confined to the Talaud Archipelago. Upperparts and head dark brown, underparts completely slate-colored. Very shy. Principally inhabits dense swampy areas of the forest floor, but also recorded in other heavily vegetated areas. Differs from Pale-vented Bush-hen by larger overall size, bigger bill, absence of pale vent, and association with forest habitats. Calls include a harsh, grating bark-like call, “gra-gra-gra…”, as well as softer “chuk” notes and grating “ke-OW” calls.