A small drab bird of foothill and lower montane forest understory. Warm brown upperparts, pale underparts and pale buff eye-ring and throat. Moves in mixed foraging flocks through thick tangles and thickets. Similar to some other scrubwrens, but Perplexing has a pale edge to wing feathers around the shoulder. Song, an energetic, rolling “wichiti-wichiti-wichiti” phrases ending in flat “pew-pew-pew” notes.