A unique little songbird found in the temperate zone of the Andes from extreme western Venezuela to northern Peru. Not bright, but distinctively patterned with a black head, a buffy central crown stripe, staring pale eyes, and a gray body. Pairs or small flocks forage through shrubby forests and edges, often perching on the tops of bushes. Follows mixed-species flocks. Occurs from around 2,700 to 3,400 m.