Widespread but often local in open areas typically with sandy soil from Patagonian steppe to coastal dunes to bogs in the high Andes; often less common than other miners in the same areas. Often seen in pairs, walking with a waddling gait and pumping its tail like most miners. Best identified by distinct breast streaking, relatively long and very slightly decurved bill, and (in flight) bright rusty wing patches. Northern populations also have contrasting creamy white rump. Song varies geographically.