Quail-like tinamou found in a variety of open habitats including grassland, farmland, and steppe. It occupies high elevations in the northern part of its range, but can be found down to near sea level at its southern limit. Small size (compared to most tinamous) and buff belly and streaks help to identify it. Very similar to Spotted Nothura, and in the area of overlap it is usually not possible to separate them in the field; in this region Darwin’s Nothura tends to be found at higher elevations. Vocalizations include a long, ringing trill and a slow series of piping notes.