Contrary to what the Scientific Name suggests, the Short-billed Miner has never been seen in Antarctica. However it is one of the two southernmost miners, broadly sympatric with the similar Common Miner (Geositta cunicularia). The Short-billed Miner is fond of dry and sandy Patagonian steppe, and its center of distribution is the north section of Tierra del Fuego Island, although it does breed in low densities on the continent as well. Apart from being shorter-billed than the Common Miner, the Short-billed Miner is also quite long-winged. The long wings may be an adaptation to migration, as this species is migratory and moves as far north as Mendoza in Argentina during the non-breeding period. While similar visually to the Common Miner, molecular data as well as similarities in song clarify that the Andean Creamy-rumped Miner (Geositta isabellina) is its closest relative.