A small bird with a unique color pattern. Red-and-black plumage of male is diagnostic; female is salmon-pink and gray. Found in a variety of habitats across its range, including savanna bush islands, forest edge, and disturbed humid premontane forest, but it is generally absent from humid lowland forest regions. Feeds on seeds and fruit, often associating with euphonias. May wander widely and can be difficult to find; population has been greatly reduced by trapping for the cage bird trade. Song is a jumbled series of high-pitched notes, trills, and buzzes; most readily detected by high, clear call note.