Watkins's Antpitta is a shy resident of dry forest and secondary scrub, with a very restricted distribution in the lowlands of southwest Ecuador and northwest Peru. This species is reclusive, but can be very vocal and is heard more often than seen. Indeed the best way to locate a Watkins's Antpitta is to listen for the distinctive song, which consists of several short, hollow, whistled notes that descend in pitch, followed by a rising hollow whistle. This vocalization is quite dissimilar from the song of the otherwise similar Chestnut-crowned Antpitta (Grallaria ruficapilla) of higher elevations, and generally less arid habitats; Watkins's Antpitta formerly was classified as a subspecies of Chestnut-crowned, but the differences between the two in vocalizations and in habitat preferences clearly indicate that Watkins's Antpitta merits recognition as a separate species. Within its restricted geographic range, Watkins's Antpitta can be surprisingly common in appropriate habitat, and, with luck, may be seen foraging for arthropods by pecking at the leaf litter on or near the ground in dense vegetation.