A small gray-brown seedeater with a lemon-yellow rump, white tail tips, and a boldly marked face with pale patches (white to lemon-yellow) above and below the eye. The throat and upper breast are lemon-yellow in the male and buff in the female. Pairs and small flocks occupy savanna, grassland, and palm savanna, where the species is partial to Ilala Palm. It forages on the ground and in small shrubs and grass. The similar Yellow-fronted Canary is yellower, has a broader eyebrow, and lacks wingbars and the vertical dark stripe below the eye.