Sparrow-like weaver in which scarlet breeding males are distinctive, but females and non-breeding females very drab. Found in virtually all habitats except the interior of thick forest. Often found in flocks, sometimes mixed with other birds. Calls are high, silvery notes, given in long series as a song. Can be very similar to Forest Fody. Breeding male Red Fody has red on the back and belly, though molting males can match the pattern of Forest Fody. Females and non-breeding males very similar, but Red Fody is paler and less greenish, with a smaller bill. Unlike Forest Fody, not found in the rainforest interior. Separated from female and non-breeding male Sakalava Weaver by smaller size, smaller bill, and different facial markings.