Fairly common but infrequently seen. Favors fresh marshes and ponds with taller vegetation, especially reeds and rushes; in winter and freezing weather, sometimes in tidal marshes. Most often seen at muddy edges, walking stealthily; can move very quickly. About half the size of a moorhen. Note long, mostly red bill (unlike short, chickenlike bill of crakes), and barred flanks. Most often detected by voice—varied piglike squeals and grunts.