A fairly small weaver with a chunky bill. Always shows a red eye and a dark bill. Breeding male is distinctive, with bright yellow overall plumage, a black mask, and a variable chestnut wash on the breast and crown. Females, non-breeding males, and juveniles are much duller, but show streaking on the back and pale underparts. Found in a variety of savanna habitats, often in flocks. Breeding male is similar to several other weavers, but can be separated by the chestnut rather than black crown and the red eye. Plumages other than the breeding male’s can be hard to separate from other weavers, but can be cautiously identified by the reddish eye and overall size and shape. Vocalizations are typical of weavers: “chek” notes and a sizzling “radio static” song.