Medium-sized, bright rail. Overall orange with red bill and legs, gray cheek, and black stripes on back. Similar to King Rail at first glance but much smaller; gray cheek distinctive. Mostly found in freshwater marshes but also found in brackish and saltwater; prefers extensive cattails or reeds but also found in shrubbier marshes. Shy and not often seen, but sometimes wanders along the edge of reeds. Most easily detected by voice. Male "song" is a series of doubled "kiddik, kiddik" notes; most common call is a descending, accelerating series of grunts.