A striking little bird, shaped like a robust gnatcatcher. Note the bold black-and-buff head pattern, black chest fading to rufous flanks, and bright rufous on the wings. Tail is long and narrow. Unmistakable if seen well, but compare with Marañon Crescentchest, which has silvery wing edges and more richly-colored underparts. Secretive; singles or pairs skulk in dense thickets and understory of dry woodland and second growth, up to 2,300 m. More often detected by song; listen for a series of loud, popping chip notes.