The Plain-crested Elaenia is a resident of open savanna and scrubby thickets from Venezuela south to central Brazil; there also are isolated populations in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. A small drab elaenia, the Plain-crested Elaenia has olive-brown upperparts, two white wing bars, and a pale yellow belly and undertail coverts. The crown feathers of the Plain-crested Elaenia are greatly elongated and form a conspicuous crest, although the crest lacks the white coronal patch of other species of elaenia. Plain-crested Elaenias often perch, with upright posture, in the crowns of shrubs and trees. Plain-crested Elaenias primarily forage on insects and berries by perch-gleaning or by flutter-gleaning.