Well named, this is the smallest member of the thornbird group. In size it appears like a large and bulky canastero, although with a distinctive thick based, sturdy and blue-grey based bill. As is typical with thornbirds, this species builds a covered, spherical nest of sticks. As this species is smaller, it often makes the nest hang from near the tip of a thinner lower branch. The nest is often triangular in shape, one apex where it hangs from the branch, the entrance forming another apex of the triangle; often a false entrance is made towards the top of the nest. The Little Thornbird is a small brownish bird, more arboreal than a canastero and showing distinct rufous sides to the tail. It is found in open espinal forests, chaco, and other dry forests.