The Streaked Weaver is a stocky bird that is 15–17 cm long, with a sturdy conical bill and dark red eyes. In the north of their range, the reproductive males have a blackhead surrounded by brown edges, generally more visible on the nape and chest. It spans all of sub-Saharan Africa, except for the driest areas in the south and the Horn of Africa. It is an abundant species found in a wide variety of open and semi-open habitats, including crops and human populations, where it often forms noisy colonies. It has also been introduced in Hispaniola, Mauritius, and Reunion.