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17cm. Short but conspicuous bill, blunt, toothlike projection on middle of lower mandible fits into notch on upper mandible. Upperparts uniformly pink/grey-brown, chest to vent with large black spots, sides of head blackish, throat and eye-ring white; plumage of females of less contrasting colour and not so heavily streaked.
This is a monotypic species1.
Dry shrubland and hot, stony deserts avoiding sand dunes.
The diet includes seeds, green plant material as well as insects. It uses its bill to cut off plant material and to dig for food. Hard seeds are swallowed whole and not husked with bill, instead grit is taken with food to aid digestion.
During ground display, male presents to female pebbles that are used in nest building. Nest cup-shaped, frequently surrounded by small lumps of soil or small stones. 2-3 eggs are laid and incubated by female March through May, both parents feed young.
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