Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo is a large terrestrial species found widely in the Neotropics, though it occurs at low density and is generally inconspicuous. The species' distribution is disjunct, with three separate populations - one from Nicaragua south to Colombia, one in western Amazonia, and one in the Atlantic forest of Brazil. Distribution is somewhat unclear due to identification issues. The similar Scaled Ground-Cuckoo (Neomorphus squamiger) can usually separated from Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo by breast pattern, but the two taxa are occasionally considered to be conspecific. The species has a thick, decurved, pale bill and a green-brown crest. It is overall vinaceous to brown above and pale tan below, with a dark breast band. Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo is quite large, with a long tail and thick, sturdy legs.