An unusual small, richly colored sparrow of dry country. Males are completely chestnut with a darker head. Females are rufous-brown on the back, mostly gray on the head, and pale below. Found in rather dry savanna and woodland. Nests colonially and usually found in flocks, sometimes large, and sometimes mixed with other bird species. Male resembles breeding male Chestnut Weaver, but is much smaller overall, and smaller-billed. Female is similar to female House and Somali Sparrows, but more richly colored. The common calls include chirps, chatters, and a slow trill of chirping notes.