Chunky, generally uncommon, rather grouselike bird of the high Andes. Found in pairs or small groups on bogs, stony slopes, and in bleak moorland of puna and páramo zones. Lacey “chainmail” pattern to upperparts is beautifully cryptic, and birds sometimes freeze when alarmed making them more difficult to see. No similar species in range; note the short stout bill and rusty underparts. Flight strong and fast, and flushes with loud shrieking choruses.
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