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Seven subspecies of the Andean Tinamou have been named, which range from southern Ecuador to Chile and central western Argentina. As the name suggests, this species primarily inhabits montane scrub and grassland, and is also found at the edges of Polylepis forest patches, from 1500 to 4000 m; but there is also a lowland population in western Peru, which is found at 200–900 m. Given the number of described subspecies, it is unsurprising that the species’ plumage is highly variable, but this tinamou is always separable from the similar but larger Ornate Tinamou (Nothoprocta ornata) by the presence of spotting on the breast and head sides. The Andean Tinamou is most frequently encountered when a bird flushes with noisy wingbeats from a patch of cover. The birds feed on seeds, buds, fruit, insects, and small fruits, and they nest on the ground, usually under the cover of a bush.