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- Grey-brown upperparts
- White underparts
- Long decurved brown to deep red beak (68-82 mm, 26.8-32.3 inches)
- Female similar to male, but slightly larger with slightly longer beak
- Browner with less well defined plumage pattern
- Upperparts have pale fringes
- Plumage almost inseparable from that of adult, except for darker red base of beak
- A few brown feathers in upperparts and sometimes keeps a mainly white face for several months
- Greyish down with darker black and brown markings
- Long brownish beak
Breeds in gravelly mountain river valleys normally lacking any vegetation, from 500 to 4400 m. Recently discovered nesting at just 270 m near Beijing, China.
Is found at similar habitats in winter, but at lower altitudes, sometimes as low as 100 m.
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