Cryptically-coloured. Predominantly grass-green, mottled with black and yellow, and with a bright red patch above the bill (adults). Ground-dwelling amongst the dense heath and most often seen only when flushed, after which it typically flies a short distance before dropping back into the dense vegetation. The call, a high-pitched “tee-tee-teeee”, uttered mostly at dawn and dusk, is conspicuous and generally betrays the presence of the bird long before it is sighted. Unmistakable with any other bird within its limited range on the mainland and in suitable throughout Tasmania.