The southern red bishop is 10–11 centimetres long and has a thick conical bill. Breeding males are brightly coloured with red (occasionally orange) and black plumage. The forehead, face and throat are black and the rest of the head is red. The upperparts are red apart from the brown wings and tail.
Males moult to a female color during none breeding season.
Orange weavers and Red Bishop Weaver are the same bird.