Rather variable little flycatcher, easily identified in southern South America (where no similar species occur), but looks similar to several other elaenia species farther north. Common summer resident in forest, woodland, and matorral with taller trees. Note white-based crest, narrow white eyering, and whitish wingbars. A population in the deserts of northern Chile and Peru with spikier crest and duller wingbars is a common resident in scrub and farmland with taller trees. Another population in the Andes from Bolivia to Ecuador has a weaker crest where the white base is sometimes concealed. Populations are vocally distinct, and may represent separate species.