A typical sparrow with a striped back, a gray crown and nape, and a black bib. The rufous rump is conspicuous in flight. The sexes are similar, though males are brighter overall and have more rufous on the face. Found locally in dry thorn savanna and cultivated areas, sometimes around human habitation. Similar to Somali Sparrow, but the male is separated by his gray crown and the female by her much more colorful overall plumage. Very similar to Kenya Rufous Sparrow, but not known to overlap in range, and Shelley’s is separated by its dark eye. The call is a cheerful “chirp” like that of other sparrows.