A neatly patterned weaver that stays high above the ground in forests and old farmland, often near flooded areas or water, in small groups or with mixed-species flocks. Black head and vent contrast with the dark gray or reddish belly. Upperparts are black except for a bright gold triangular patch on the back. Engages in a wide variety of foraging behaviors, including gleaning, flycatching, and hitching up larger branches and trunks in a woodpecker-like fashion. Occurs with several other species of weaver, but note Yellow-mantled Weaver’s distinct upperparts and the contrast between its black throat and vent and its paler belly. Calls include mechanical whistles and rasps and dry chatters, sometimes combined in complex songs.