Chunky, generally scarce, rather grouselike bird of bleak moorland, bogs, and rocky slopes above timberline; in winter, sometimes descends to lowland Patagonian steppe, when it can be seen along roadsides. Found in pairs or small groups. 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 contrasting snowy-white belly. Flight strong and fast; flushes with loud shrieking choruses.