Rather small and stocky dirt-colored dove of the high Andes. The namesake golden spots on wing coverts are hard to see. Favors sandy and fine stony soils in puna grasslands, villages with animal corrals, and adjacent farmland. Found in pairs or flocks, feeding on ground where plumage can be remarkably cryptic. Often not seen until it flushes from close range with a loud rattling wing whistle. Smaller and shorter-tailed than Black-winged Ground-Dove with contrastingly blackish underwings without the white “shoulder” flashes seen on Black-winged.