A small, unusual sparrow of dry country. Males are mostly yellow with black-and-white wings and tail. In non-breeding plumage, males have a grayer back and a rufous wash on the head. Females are much plainer: buff brown on the back and pale below, with a yellow wash. Found in dry thorn savanna, thornscrub, and cultivated areas. Nests colonially, and usually found in flocks, sometimes large, and sometimes mixed with other bird species. Similar to Sudan Golden Sparrow, but virtually no overlap in range. Male is separated by its yellow rather than chestnut back, and females by being brighter and yellower, with less distinct back streaking. The common call is a rattling series of chirps.