This highly distinctive, high-altitude tanager is the sole member of the genus Urothraupis. Within its range, which geographically spans the east slope of the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador, the Black-backed Bush Tanager can hardly be mistaken for any other bird species. Both sexes are entirely black above, with largely grayish-mottled underparts, but the gleaming white throat is perhaps the species’ most distinctive feature. This bush tanager is regularly found in Polylepis woodlands close to the treeline, but it is also usually uncommon and local. Small groups can be encountered within mixed-species flocks containing other tanagers, as well as brush-finches and others, sometimes including Polylepis specialities such as Giant Conebill (Oreomanes fraseri).