A nest parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of Purple Grenadiers. As with other whydahs, breeding males are spectacular, whereas non-breeding males and females are drab. Breeding males are mostly black, with golden-buff coloring on the cap, the belly, and the elongated central tail feathers. Non-breeding males and females have a brownish back, a golden-buff head, and a red bill. Found in rather dry savanna and cultivated areas. Non-breeding male and female can be identified by their red bill and their almost unmarked plain buff head. Not very vocal, but does imitate Purple Grenadier, and gives a quick jumble of high-pitched whistled notes.