A nest parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of Green-winged Pytilias. As with other whydahs, breeding males are spectacular and bizarre, whereas non-breeding males and females are drab and inconspicuous. Breeding males are mostly black, with a rufous-and-buff collar and a long tail with an odd widened area at its base. Non-breeding males and females have a brownish back, pale underparts, and a dark bill. Generally scarce and local in dry thorn savanna. Breeding male similar to other paradise-whydahs, but has a shorter tail. Non-breeding male and female can be cautiously identified by their combination of a dark bill, dull (not whitish or red) legs, and simple facial pattern. Not very vocal, but does imitate Green-winged Pytilia vocalizations.