Fairly common in the Andes, from scrubby valleys in higher foothills up to high elevation puna plains, rocky slopes, and bogs. Usually seen as singles or pairs, feeding on the ground near cover or singing from a prominent rock or post. Distinctive in most of range with a long arched bill and rather plain buffy brown plumage overall. Easily confused with the very similar White-throated Earthcreeper on the west slope of the Andes. The two species often occur together, but Buff-breasted Earthcreepers are plainer and more uniform overall with a less distinct pale eyebrow and a different song.