Large, distinctive marsh dweller, elusive and often difficult to see in the heavily vegetated wet fields and marshes it inhabits. Male is unmistakable, with black body, brown-edged wing coverts, and red-and-yellow bill with raised, spiky red frontal shield (unlike smaller moorhen). Females and immature are similarly large but speckled brown above with tan faces, and lack male’s frontal shield. Males are very vocal when breeding, producing liquid-sounding gulps comparable to a water bottle emptying. Both sexes make a range of incisive, guttural clucking and creaking calls, as well as a sharp “keek” in alarm.