The red facial patch is diagnostic. In flight, the grey rump contrasts slightly with the back and tail, which appear to be slightly suffused with green. Head and breast are pale cinnamon. The birds usually fly in small parties, and have a fast, powerful and direct flight action.
Juvenile has a yellowish green face
Thornveld, open broad-leaved woodland, lowland fynbos and suburban gardens, avoiding forests and extremely dry regions.
A clear whistle, 'tsee-tee-tee', the first note being the highest in pitch.