This chickenlike bird has brown, rufous, and gray color morphs. Adults are streaked above and barred below; females generally have darker barring than males. The tail has a dark bar near the tip, but females lack the dark band on central tail feathers. Both sexes have a dark ruff on the neck; the male uses the ruff in spring to display to females. There is also a crest atop the head, though it sometimes lies flat.