The white double wing bar on the shoulder is diagnostic on the otherwise dull grey-brown sparrow. Males have a chestnut shoulder patch which can sometimes be hard to see. They also have a pale yellow spot on the throat in fresh plumage. Females are duller and lack the chestnut shoulder patch. The yellow spot is much reduced or lacking in females. This species is tree-loving although sometimes seen on wires and on the ground, where it has a hopping gait. The species breeds in tree hollows, often making use of the holes made by primary hole-nesting birds such as barbets and woodpeckers. They may also make use of hollows on buildings. The nest is built mainly by the female, but males may sometimes assist. Some populations are migratory, moving in response to rains. They feed mainly on grains but also on insects, nectar and berries. An unusual food item is the petals of flowers such as those of Madhuca indica. When they visit flowers such as those of Capparis, Salmalia, Erythrina and Bassia, their foreheads are covered with pollen. From Wikipedia.
Seen in a cotton field.
This species is said to have introduced Salim Ali (1896–1987) to ornithology. As a young boy he shot a sparrow that looked different, and it was identified for him by W. S. Millard, then secretary of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), who also introduced him to the literature and collections at the museum there. As a result, Salim Ali ultimately took up ornithology as a profession. In 2003 the BNHS published a tribute to him entitled Petronia-Wikipedia.