D. carbonaria is highly active and nervous in behavior. Individuals might remain primarily hidden, appearing only momentarily as they work quickly and nervously through dense vegetation, pausing to probe flowers (Ridgely and Tudor 1989). Their foraging methods include standing on the flower heads when feeding (Remsen et al. 1990) and sallying for flying insects from the tops of bushes (Sclater 1875). Their behavior is similar to that of D. brunneiventris (Hilty 2011).