A variable, gray and white finch-like bird of the Andes. Face is solid black in the northern part of its range but is marked with white blotches in southwestern Ecuador and northern Peru. Crown is chestnut except for the very localized “Paynter’s” group, which has a pale crown and is restricted to far southeastern Ecuador and adjacent areas of Peru. Conspicuous white wing patches help distinguish it from Bay-crowned Brushfinch. Inhabits dense vegetation, such as montane scrub and roadside tangles.