A stunningly-colored bunting with a brilliant golden breast, a yellow throat, a boldly black-and-white striped head, a chestnut back, and white wingbars. When flushed, it shows white outer tail feathers. The female is duller. Pairs and small flocks are resident, but make local movements in arid savanna and broadleaf woodland, where they forage on the ground and fly up into trees when flushed or singing. The species has a mellow descending two-note “whit-wheeer” nasal call and a sweet, clearly whistled “tree-chee-tree-chee” song. The similar Brown-rumped and Somali buntings differ from Golden-breasted Bunting by having gray (not chestnut) shoulders and back of the neck.