Fairly common in its range, Red-faced Spinetail occurs in montane subtropical forest from Costa Rica to Ecuador. In South America, they occur on the western Andean slope and patchily in coastal cordilleras. They can be found in forest interior, edges, and in second growth. Though they often forage in the lower canopy, they come lower in more open habitats. Active feeders, they tend to creep along branches, where they rummage in bark and epiphytes for invertebrate prey. They often join mixed species foraging flocks. In appearance, their rufous head sharply contrasting with gray body is distinctive. Also note the contrast between the rufous wings and tail with the gray body. Their voice is an excited, accelerating chipping series. Their nest is a bulky ball hung near the end of a branch with a tunnel entrance at the bottom.