Confusing flycatcher of montane forest. It has olive-gray upperparts, pale yellow underparts, white wingbars, and a small crest that is usually held flat. When crest is raised, it may show some white. Darker and yellower than other elaenias, and usually only elaenia in its habitat. Birds in worn plumage may not be identifiable with certainty. Its most common vocalizations, which include clear whistles and burry calls, are similar to those of other elaenias.