The Moustached Brush-Finch takes its name from the broad white malar stripe. This moustache is particularly prominent in the Venezuelan subspecies, which has a yellow throat. The throat is white in the subspecies of the Colombian Andes, however, and so the throat and malar tend to blend together (although there often is a narrow dusky line that separates the two). In both subspecies, the crown is rufous, the upperparts are olive green, and the breast and belly are yellow. Moustached Brush-Finches are partially arboreal, and forage as pairs or in small (family?) groups up to 10 m above the ground at the edge of humid montane forest and in similar habitats. The Moustached Brush-Finch has a small geographic range, but it is fairly common.