Sports a large and slightly upcurved black and yellow bill. Large yellow eye diagnostic. When resting, the mostiking features are the while forehead and "spetacles". In flight shows grey panel on wings and white patches on primaries.
Sexes alike. Sandy-brown plumage, streaked dark; whitish below breast; thickish head, long, bare, yellow legs and large eye-goggles diagnostic; white wing-patch in flight. Solitary or in pairs; strictly a ground bird; crepuscular and nocturnal; rather quiet, sitting for long hours in same patch, where seen regularly; colouration and habitat makes it difficult to spot; squats tight or runs in short steps when located and disturbed, moving suspiciously. The Great Thick-knee Esacus recurvirostris is larger and has an upturned bill.