The name of this small bird describes the male of the species very well; it has a black back, crown and hindneck, and bright tawny, or brownish-orange, underparts. The wings and tail are blackish-brown, with a slight white edging. The cheeks are paler in colour and the bill is black. Females possess a larger bill than males, with paler plumage and less distinct patterns (2) (3). Their song is a simple series of four to six high-pitched, whistled notes (3). The scientific name, Sporophila, originates from Greek, meaning spore- or seed-loving, and refers to their preferred diet.
- Length: 10 cm (2)