Large waxbill with a big bill. Shows a black head, brown back, and black scallops along the sides of the breast. Found in bamboo, moist scrub, moist cultivation, lush savanna, and forest edge. Quite scarce across most of its range. Call is a descending “teeiw”. Superficially similar to Bronze Mannikin but larger and bigger-billed, with an all-black head and distinctive scallops along the breast sides.