Buffy Helmetcrest has a long, pointed black and buffy crest. The gorget is long and thin - beardlike in shape - and is glittering green and blue. Buffy Helmetcrest has a very restricted distribution, on Nevado del Ruiz in the Central Andes of Colombia, where it occupies the páramo. These large hummingbirds typically forage at low bushes by themselves, but during the dry season, birds are more often seen together. During the wet season, males sing continuously from shrubs for minutes on end and year-round, birds frequently perch on boulders. When foraging, individuals cling onto flowers or sometimes even walk on the ground and lurch for insects. The total population of this species is perhaps only a thousand individuals, and its IUCN Red List conservation status is evaluated as Vulnerable.