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.
open country, tree- and palm-dotted cultivation.
grain, seeds, insects, nectar.
most of India up to about 1,000m in outer Himalaya; absent in Kashmir.
chirping and high-pitched wheezy notes of breeding male; very noisy at nest colony (monsoons).