A gregarious species of montane pine forests. This species can be deceptively hard to find when not calling, despite its bright colors and tendency to travel in flocks of up to twenty. Note that the namesake crossed bill can be hard to see. Males are clothed in red and bear bright white wingbars. The dull yellow-olive female can be separated from other species by its bold white wingbars and structure: the bill is stout and the tail is short and notched. Call is loud “djit, djit.” Its song is a soft series of warblings and trills.