Seemingly dark and dull at a distance, males sport a spectacular color pattern when seen up close. Note red nape and throat, brilliant blue forehead, purplish cheek, and red arcs behind the eyes. Body is rich purple set off by a blue rump. Female is exceptionally plain. She is a warm, medium-brown with very few markings, distinguished from other female buntings by plainer wings and belly and curved top of the bill. Prefers brushy habitats often with steep slopes, especially riparian areas and desert washes. Generally uncommon. Listening for their song, a low, rough warble, is often the best way to find them.