In breeding plumage the shape of the black mask distinguishes male from the similar southern masked-weaver: the mask extends well onto the crown and comes to a rounded (not pointed) end on the throat. This species also has a white (not red) eye and grey (not brown) legs.
Female and non-breeding male lack the mask and are yellower below than southern masked-weaver. Female has a dark eye. Juvenile resembles female.
Savanna. Breeds colonially in trees overhanging water, and in reeds.
Typically swizzling sounds.