It is about 20 centimeters long. Its head, neck, chest, wings and tail are smoky brown with green shades. Its neck, back and upper part of the chest is rufescent. The rest of its body is white with brown and black stripes. Legs and beak are black as well. The Turca in Huaso is smaller and paler.
There are 2 species in the country: the P. m. megapodius found from the Elqui to Concepción and the P. m. atacamae in the Huasco Province.
In the bushes slopes and in the highlands, until the 3000 meters above the sea level.