It is 10-13 centimetres in length with a long, narrow, graduated tail and a fairly long, slender bill. The tail is often held erect or waved from side to side. The upperparts are grey-brown with rufous-brown edges to the flight feathers and a rufous tinge to the rump. The throat and breast are whitish while the flanks and vent are warm buff. There is a whitish stripe over the eye and the lores are dark. The tail feathers have a white tip and a dark subterminal band. The sexes are similar in appearance. Non-breeding birds have a longer tail than breeding birds. Juveniles have pale yellow underparts and a yellowish bill.


Habitat and Distribution

There are ten subspecies distributed across most parts of sub-Saharan Africa except for the driest and wettest areas. It is absent from much of the Congo Basin, southern Namibia, south-west Botswana and the western half of South Africa. It is found amongst shrubs and grass in a variety of habitats including woodland, savanna and cultivated areas. It adapts well to man-made habitats and is not considered to be threatened.


Feeding

There are ten subspecies distributed across most parts of sub-Saharan Africa except for the driest and wettest areas. It is absent from much of the Congo Basin, southern Namibia, south-west Botswana and the western half of South Africa. It is found amongst shrubs and grass in a variety of habitats including woodland, savanna and cultivated areas. It adapts well to man-made habitats and is not considered to be threatened.


Breeding

The nest is purse-shaped and made of strips of grass woven together. It is built one to two metres above the ground. Two to four eggs are laid; they are variable in ground colour and usually have brown or purple spots or blotches.


Calls and Songs

The call is short, wheezy and rapidly repeated. The song is a monotonous series of shrill notes. The male often sings from an exposed perch.