Large dark widowbird. Breeding males, with massive tails and red and white highlights on their broad black wings, are unmistakable. Non-breeding males lose their long tails and become streaky and brown but keep the distinctive wing pattern. Females are brown and streaky year-round. Breeds in moist grassland but sometimes found in cultivation and other open habitats. Usually in flocks, especially when not breeding. Males give a very slow display flight in which the huge tail hangs down. Song is a sizzling trill. Females could be confused with many other species but even during the non-breeding season usually associate with males, which show a distinctive wing pattern.