The Red-crested Cotinga is a distinctive cotinga of the high Andes from Venezuela to Bolivia. The adult is gray overall with a white base to the bill and an inconspicuous tuft of red feathers, which generally is carried laid back along the nape. It has a white tail band that is particularly obvious in flight. It occurs in open cloud forest up to treeline and even above treeline in groves of Polylepis trees. Pairs or small groups often perch conspicuously in the tops of trees, sometimes giving a low, grating call.