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15 -18 cm. Olive-brown upperparts, rufous crown and nape, pale gray underparts, becoming whitish on the belly, and orange lower mandible. The juvenile is darker faced, has pale centres to the upperpart feathers, brownish flanks and breast, and dark barring or spots on the belly.
Seven subspecies are recognized.
The undergrowth of wet mountain oak and conifer forests.
It builds a bulky lined cup shaped nest in dense undergrowth or a thicket, often near water. 2 brown-blotched greyish or greenish-blue eggs are laid and incubated by the female for 15-16 days. The young are fed by both parents for 14-16 days more to fledgling.
The diet includes insects and spiders, and small fruits.
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