Small pipit; adults distinctive with rusty-red face and throat (paler in winter), contrasting with streaked white belly. The back is heavily streaked black, white, and brown, and the rump is also streaked. Breeds in mountains and on the tundra in open grasslands and boggy areas with willows. Rarely seen perched above the ground. When flushed may fly a long way uttering a far-carrying "pssiiih" call.