A tiny flycatcher of forest understory. Generally difficult to see. Notably plain: brown above and yellowish-white below with a semi-concealed chestnut crown that is not visible under most field conditions. Note small size, plain face, and wide bill characteristic of spadebills. Inhabits understory of lowland rainforest, where it perches in low vegetation and makes short upward sallies to nab insects on the undersides of leaves. May follow mixed-species flocks but is more often found away from them. Most frequently heard call is a short, inflected squeak, often given in alarm as the bird flies away; song is a surprisingly loud, grating series of notes. Best told from other spadebills by plain plumage and lack of strong facial pattern.