Distinctive and uncommon rosefinch with a long tail. Male is strikingly unmistakable, with grayish “peppery” cheeks, white wing patches, and dark pink crown, back, and breast. Female is predominantly brownish, but also has white slashes on the wings, buffy wingbars, and orangish chest coloration. Breeds in forests with dense thickets, preferring coniferous growth but varying locally, between approximately 2100 and 3050 meters; winters at slightly lower altitudes. Forages on the ground or in low vegetation, typically in pairs or small flocks.