This brightly colored flycatcher well deserves its name: the yellow rump, white lores, dark gray head, and olive back are distinctive. The color of the tail varies geographically: in the nominate subspecies of Colombia the tail is brown with a rufous base, but the base of the tail is yellow in the subspecies of the west slope of the Andes of Colombia and Ecuador, and is entirely rufous in the two subspecies that occur along the east slope of the Andes. Ornate Flycatchers occupy the understory of humid montane forest between 700 and 2200 meters of elevation, where they forage at low or middle levels in forest openings. Typically they are found around openings in the forest, such as at treefalls or along the margins of streams, where they perch in a low, open site and sally for insects. They are generally encountered as pairs or individuals, and do not join mixed-species flocks. The distinctive call of the Ornate Flycatcher is a high, emphatic "peut!"