This large cisticola is unlikely to be confused with any other because of its size, bulky body shape, short tail (when breeding), and unusually thick bill. The upperparts are well mottled with dark brown and there is no rufous in the streaked crown.
Sexes alike but female is smaller than make. Jevenile is a warmer brown than adult, with a yellowish wash below.
Grassland in bush clearings, and grassy hillsides and valleys.
A deep 'trrrrp' or 'chee-fro', given during bounding display flight or from an exposed perch.