Large, colorful sparrow of tepui highland forests. Geographically variable but always shows rufous head, olive-gray upperparts, and yellow breast and belly: a combination that renders it unmistakable in its limited range. Found in understory of humid forests in the tepui region, generally above 800 m. Single birds, pairs, or small family groups stay in dense cover and rummage through leaf litter or over mossy substrates, looking for seeds and insects. May emerge from cover to forage on mossy limbs up to several meters high. Often observed with mixed-species flocks. Quite vocal and will sometimes approach to scold observers; calls include a dry chip and various indistinct contact notes, whereas song is a short, arresting series of whistled notes.