Chunky finch-like tanager of high elevations. Males are yellow with a gray head, wings, and tail; females are similar but duller. Found in a variety of dry, open habitats including scrub, agricultural areas, and Polylepis woodlands. Often forages in groups on the ground, and may associate with other sierra-finches and similar species. Distinctive within its range; replaced by the similar Black-hooded Sierra-Finch farther south.