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8 to 12 cm long with a wingspan of 14 to 16 cm. Males have an average weight of 7.6 g and females weigh around 6.8 g. Black, downward curving, long bill, orange tufts at the sides of the breasts; females and juveniles are grey brown above, pale underparts. It has a high, fast, jingling song and various calls including a harsh alarm call.
Dry woodland, scrub, wadis, savannas, orchards and gardens and is common in towns in some areas.