The Gray-crowned Yellowthroat is relatively common throughout lowland Mexico and Central America. More of a generalist than other members of its genus, the Gray-crowned Yellowthroat inhabits a wide-range of open and semi-open habitats including grassland, scrub, and cultivated areas. It is one of the few warbler species commonly sighted in cane fields. Compared with other members of Geothlypis it is also notably larger and and stocky and possesses a significantly thicker bill. Adult males have a comparatively small face-mask, a gray head, and a partial eye-ring, although not all individuals distinctly display this trait.