Although birds (mostly males) call for most of the year, the males are most vocal during the breeding season (May to October) and actively defend their territories. In fact the loud, piercing call is the best way to locate these cryptically plumaged, secretive birds, as this alone will usually betray their presence. Even if located by call, they can be very difficult to view, as they generally occupy the lower parts of dense shrubland, although younger males may have more open sites, and birds are generally only seen fleetingly as they dart from one patch of cover to the next. Both the male and female are dark brown above and white (male) or buff (female) on the chest and rufous on the lower belly. Females are duller than the male, with a plain white throat, while males have a black throat patch, and more extensive white on the underparts. Superficially resembles the Western Bristlebird, but is slightly larger (19 to 23 cm) and lacks the white streaking on the body and red eye of the bristlebird.