Common by voice but always inconspicuous and hard to see, this small antpitta favours dense bamboo thickets in temperate forests between 1900-3300m. Distributed from north-western Venezuela and Colombia (all three Andean ranges) into Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru.

Like other antpittas of its genus (Grallaricula), it is somewhat arboreal, hoping in dense vegetation from floor levels up to 2-3m high.

Can be seen visiting the earthworm feeding stations in Rio Blanco.