A chunky finch of upper montane forest edge and shrubby borders of subalpine grasslands. Brown head, brown back and wings, and red rump. Male has an orange-yellow bill and reddish belly. Female has an orange-yellow lower bill, dark upper bill and reddish sides. Juvenile has a brown belly and all dark bill. The adults are distinctive in their habitat. Juvenile Snow Mountain or Alpine Munias are also brown with a gray bill, but the juvenile Mountain Firetail is chunkier with a red rump. Voice, a strange rasping, squeaking song and a nasal “wek”.