Beautiful and intricately-patterned finch. Male has yellow underparts, a black cap, and a dark patch behind the ear on a yellow face. Female is similar to the male, but paler and less contrastingly colored. Like other goldfinches, usually found in pairs to large flocks foraging in both trees and low grassy patches. Inhabits forests, edges, and grassy or brushy outskirts in montane and foothill areas. Song is a series of constant twittering interspersed by lower notes; calls include wheezy notes and high twitters.