A skulky reedbed dweller that rarely comes out of cover. Identified by yellowish buff upperparts that contrast with dark brown flight feathers. Both sexes have a black crown although females also have rufous streaking on the crown. Juveniles are buffy with brown streaking on the underparts and wing coverts. Generally solitary and more active at dawn and dusk. Often seen flying low over reedbeds with slow wingbeats. When in danger, they freeze and point their head and neck upwards, blending with their surrounding. Feeds on variety of aquatic prey.