A compact, short-legged pipit that is uniformly plain. At close range, an eyebrow, very faint breast streaking, and subtle yellow-green edges on the wings are the only distinguishing features. Pairs prefer rocky slopes with scattered brush and grass, where they are furtive and difficult to detect unless singing. The distinctive far-carrying two-note song is an upslurred whistle followed by a quavering, descending trill “tseeee-treeeooooo”. This species’ exceptionally drab nature makes it difficult to confuse with other pipits.