The only crested tit in most of its range. Black front with yellow cheek and yellow eyebrow. Yellowish-green upperparts, white-spotted wings, and yellow-and-black underparts. Females and juveniles are duller, with shorter crests, central stripe thinner and incomplete, and yellowish parts becoming dull white. A bird of the hills, it is most abundant between 500 meters and 1800 meters of elevation, but rarely descends to lower elevations. Seen in pairs or family groups, often joining mixed-species foraging flocks in the non-breeding season. Forages in the canopy, emitting loud whistles and harsh chatters.