A small odd finch-like weaver with a short stubby tail. Breeding male has a yellowish crown and breast and a black face mask. Non-breeding male, female, and juvenile are buffy with blackish edging to the upperparts. A locally common resident in clearings near large rivers within the forested Congo Basin, where populations are scattered. Found in pairs and small groups. Vocalizations are quite simple: repeatedly gives a harsh “djet,” and the song has some liquid notes. Non-breeding male and female could be confused with many other small dull birds, but the short tail is unique.