The breeding male has coppery iridescence across the head, though it looks black in poor light. Non-breeding male and female are dull and nondescript, with plain, unstreaked underparts. Found in a wide variety of open habitats, including woodland, scrub, gardens, and cultivation. Absent from thick forest. Gives a variety of vocalizations, including quick scolding calls, an accelerating series of “tip” notes, and a typical sunbird scrambled song. Identifying non-breeding male and female can be tricky, but they are smaller and plainer than most similar sunbirds.