Small flowerpiercer, male all slaty blackish and female fairly dark olive-brownish. Both sexes show white flash on sides, mostly obscured by wings but usually partially visible, especially with its frequent wing flicks. Bill is upturned with a hook at the tip, typical of a flowerpiercer. Found at middle elevations, around 1,800–2,800 m, in the Andes from Venezuela to Peru. Usually at forest edge or shrubby areas. Can be found singly, in pairs, or following a mixed-species flock.