Measures 18.5 cm. The upper parts are slate-colored with the head and coat black-ribbed. Black throat, front of the neck, and chest, the extension of the black varying with age; the feathers are bordered with a thin white margin. White stomach and subcaudals. Yellow beak and yellowish-brown feet. The female is very different. The upper parts are brownish-ribbed grey. Off-white throat and chest. Head with brownish spots behind the eye. Brownish beak and feet. Lives on rocky and bushy slopes.
Habitat: Hillsides, valleys and plains. In the Andes mountain range, it can survive above 3,000 m.