Crested Wood Partridge is a rotund short-tailed bird, 25cm in length, with the male marginally larger than the female. Both sexes have a scarlet patch of bare skin around the eye and red legs without a spur or hind toe.
The male is metallic green above with glossy dark blue underparts and a brownish wing panel. The head is adorned with a tall red crest, a white forehead spot and black frontal bristles. The female has pea-green body plumage apart from the brown wing coverts. She has a slate-grey head with the bristles but no spot or crest. The bill is all-dark. Young birds are duller versions of the adult of the same sex. The song is a mournful whistled si-ul.
The Crested Wood Partridge is usually seen singly or in pairs as it forages on the ground for fruit, seeds and invertebrates. When disturbed, it prefers to run but if necessary it flies a short distance on its rounded wings.
There is some concern about the effect of habitat destruction on this bird, especially with regard to logging. However, it seems to be somewhat more adaptable than other southeast Asian pheasants. The Crested Wood Partridge is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix III of CITES.