A garish scarlet bird sporting a dramatic spiky crest and a hefty gray bill. Male overall brilliant red with black chin; female brown, gray-headed, with red crest and tail. Often found in pairs, perched in erect posture on the top of bushes or on exposed branches. Common in desert scrub and dry forests in the lowlands. Voice a melodious and slow whistled series. Unmistakable in arid regions of northern Venezuela and extreme northeastern Colombia.