Mainly yellow, black, brown and whitish weaver, distinguished from other weavers by pale blue-grey bill; breeding male has bright yellow crown and broad black breast band; ear coverts, throat may be whitish or brownish, irrespective of region; whitish or pale underparts, with weak streaking on flanks; streaked brown upperparts; non-breeding male has black cap, yellow supercilium, throat, under-eye crescent; black eye- and malar stripes; sometimes broken breast band; female, juvenile somewhat similar; gregarious even when breeding; colonial nester.
Breeding male: bright yellow crown; dark brown above, streaked yellow; dark brown ear-coverts and throat; yellow breast. Female: buffy-yellow above, streaked darker; pale supercilium and throat, turning buffy-yellow on breast, streaked on sides. Nonbreeding male: bolder streaking than female; male of eastern race burmanicus has yellow restricted to crown. Gregarious; one of the most familiar and common birds of India, best known for its nest; keeps to cultivated areas, interspersed with trees; feeds on ground and in standing crops.
Similar to Olive-backed, but plain greyish brown above, usually with dark streaking on mantle and crown, less bold streaking on flanks; breast usually heavily streaked, but variable; less well-defined facial pattern, with weaker supercilium; does not usually show any white spot or ‘teardrop’ behind eye; pale legs and bill; like Olive-backed, in small flocks; takes to trees when flushed; walks along branches; also terrestrial; feeds on ground and fans tail frequently, but not vigourously.
Sexes alike. Olive-brown above, streaked dark brown; dull-white supercilium, two wing-bars and in outer-tail feathers; pale buff-white below, profusely streaked dark brown on entire breast and flanks. The Tree Pipit A. trivialis is brown above, without olive wash. Gregarious in winter; spends most time on ground, running briskly; if approached close, flies with tseep… call into trees; descends in a few minutes.
Sexes alike. Fulvous-brown above, with dark brown centres of feathers, giving a distinctive appearance; dark brown tail, with white outer feathers, easily seen in
flight; dull-fulvous below, streaked dark brown on sides of throat, neck and entire breast. The winter-visiting Tawny Pipit A. campestris usually lacks streaks on underbody while Blyth’s Pipit A. godlewskii is indistinguishable in field, except by its harsher call note. Pairs or several scattered on ground; run in short spurts; when disturbed, utters feeble note as it takes off; singing males perch on grass tufts and small bushes.
Very variable, black, white and/or grey wagtail; for purposes of ID, races characterized as black-backed or greybacked; all the several races of White have white foreheads; breeding birds have extensive black on throat and/or breast; non-breeding birds generally have white throats; variable wing pattern; singly, or in pairs when breeding; sometimes in loose, scattered flocks; communal rooster; forages on ground; sits prominently on exposed perches; calls while perched, in flight, or on ground.
Black above; prominent white supercilium and large wing-band; black throat and breast; white below. Female is usually browner where male is black. The black-backed races of White Wagtail M. alba have conspicuous white forehead. Mostly in pairs, though small parties may feed together in winter; a bird of flowing waters, being especially fond of rockstrewn rivers, though it may be seen on ponds and tanks; feeds at edge of water, wagging tail frequently; also rides on the ferry-boats plying rivers.
Br Male: grey above; white supercilium; brownish wings, with yellowwhite band; yellow-green at base of tail (rump); blackish tail with white outer feathers; black throat and white malar stripe; yellow below. Wintering male and female: whitish throat (sometimes mottled black in breeding female); paler yellow below. Mostly solitary or in pairs; typical wagtail, feeding on ground, incessantly wagging tail; settles on house roofs and overhead wires.
Grey back; diagnostic yellow head, sides of face, complete underbody; white in dark wings. The race calcarata has a deep-black back and rump; yellow of head may be paler in female; plumage of races often confusing. Sociable, often with other wagtails; shows marked preference for damp areas; sometimes moves on floating vegetation on pond surfaces; either walks cautiously or makes short dashes.
Male: grey crown and rump; chestnut sides of neck and nape; black streaks on chestnut-rufous back; black chin, centre of throat and breast; white ear-coverts. The Spanish Sparrow P. hispaniolensis male has a chestnut crown and black streaks on flanks. Female: dull grey-brown above, streaked darker; dull whitish-brown below. Small parties to large gatherings; mostly commensal on man, feeding and nesting in and around habitation, including most crowded localities; also feeds in cultivation; hundreds roost together.