A Patagonian endemic Tinamou of large and robust body, this species has a restricted range in Patagonian steppe from the coast of the Straits of Magellan to the windy plateaus of western Argentinian Patagonia. Very rare, scarcely recorded in eastern sector of Magallanes province in Chile.
It inhabits steppe shrublands, especially with Lepidophyllum, Junellia, Berberis sp., and open wind-swept areas.
Small groups and flocks up to 40 individuals in non-breeding season during the southern winter, when it shelters from the snow in small caves. Alarm call is a characteristic whistle.
Runs rapidly, with its body in an upright position, flies only when threatened, with loud, heavy and strong wing-beats. The chicks remain in the care of the male. Shy.