A medium-sized weaver in which males and females are distinctly different, but both are colorful. Shows major geographical variation: the upperparts are black in the east, brownish-black in central Africa, and olive in the west. Birds in most of the range have a dark eye, but western birds have pale eyes. Found in woodland, thick scrub, moist savanna, gallery forest, and forest clearings and edge. Usually alone or in pairs. Vocalizations are typical of weavers: “chet” notes and a sizzling, “radio static” song. West African birds are very similar to Spectacled Weaver, but separated by having more orange on the face and a thicker bill.