Three-striped Warbler generally has a very distinctive head pattern, although there is some geographic variation in this character among the 11 recognized subspecies of this very widespread warbler. Most (but not all) possess striking black ear coverts, contrasting with the broad pale supercilium, with black lateral crown stripes, and a paler (sometimes yellowish) central coronal stripe. Three-striped Warbler is distributed from Colombia south to south central Bolivia, and east to the coast mountains of northern Venezuela. Throughout its range, this warbler inhabits montane and submontane forests between 300 and 3000 m, with one record from very close to sea level. Like many other Basileuterus, in the nonbreeding season groups of this species frequently join roving mixed-species foraging flocks, which travel rapidly through the understory.