Fairly large, skulking sparrow of highlands in Mexico, Central America, Colombia, and Ecuador. Favors dense brushy areas and flower banks in evergreen and pine-oak forests; often in pairs. Usually rather skulking, on or near the ground in shady brush and understory; sings from bushes and trees. Note black head with contrasting white stripe down the middle. In Mexico, throat and underparts are mostly yellow. In Central and South America, yellow throat contrasts with pale grayish breast; these birds were formerly known as Yellow-throated Brushfinch.