Breeding males are mostly black with a long tail. There is a large yellow-and-buff patch on the shoulder. Females and non-breeding males are streaky and brown, though males retain their colorful shoulder. Found locally in montane marsh, heath, and grassland. Vocalizations include low rasps and twittering and sizzling calls. Male separated from Marsh Widowbird by its more extensive buff shoulder patch. Female can be confused with several other species, but is usually identified by association with buff-shouldered males.
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