Often heard but rarely seen; a retiring little gray bird of bamboo thickets and other dense shrubbery at forest edges, along streams, and in wooded patches, mainly in drier areas. Can move very quickly through bamboo like a mouse. Plumage is slaty gray overall, sometimes with paler barring, but overall plainer than Magellanic Tapaculo without silvery-white head spots. Best identified by voice. Also compare with Ochre-flanked Tapaculo, which has limited range overlap.