This bird is mostly brown in the upperparts, gray head and yellow belly. The beak’s lower mandible is yellow, while the upper mandible is black. The most conspicuous feature of this bird is the raised crest, which distinguishes it from other Elaenia’s and the Tropical Kingbird. It has two characteristic sounds, one which is a single sweet note, and the other which is a series of swirling high pitched calls, more commonly heard when affirming its territory.

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