The brown crake is a very plain, dingy bird, its dark greenish-brown plumage being only slightly relieved by a white throat, and grey face, neck, breast, and belly; the legs are dull red, or in young birds reddish-brown. The bird in Hume's plate with a black face is a young one which has some of the black down of the nestling coat—almost always black in rails—still remaining on the head, which is not uncommonly the case in otherwise fledged specimens of this species. The brown crake is large for a bird of this group, approaching the grey partridge in size. This is a North Indian bird, ranging along the foot of the Himalayas to the Khasi Hills, and occurs as far south as Mysore; but it is only common in the north. It is not migratory, and breeds from May to September; nesting, it is said, twice during this period. It feeds particularly on small animal life, and is not so much of a skulker as many of its tribe, and early in the morning may be found in the vicinity of water, running about on the bare ground or rocks, and is frequently seen swimming. Pools, streams, and open wells, with but little cover, are frequented by it, and it often perches ; it is, indeed, found in the sort of situations a moorhen frequents. It nests in high grass or on bushes, and lays about six brown-spotted pinkish-white eggs. Outside India it is found in China, but has not turned up in the intermediate countries.