Alternative name: Shelley's Rufous Sparrow; White Nile Rufous Sparrow
- Passer shelleyi
13 - 15cm.
- Blue grey crown to upper mantle, ear-coverts and cheek
- Black lores, chin and throat
- Broad chestnut band extending from above eye around rear of ear-coverts and on neck side forward, black line underneath
- Rufous chestnut lower mantle to upertail-coverts, streaked black on mantle and uper back
- Blackish to dark brown upperwing
- White tips on median coverts
- Dark brown tail
- Greyish underparts
- Horn-coloured bill, blackish in breeding season
- Similar to male but much duller
- Dark grey bib
- Chestnut replaced by buff
Juveniles are similar to females but they look paler and washed-out.
Smaller than Great Sparrow. Note also paler eye, greyer face and more grey on neck and mantle (especially in nominate).
Open grassy savanna with trees, also in adjacent semi-deserts and light woodland. Does not penetrate into villages and associate with humans. Occurs from 1000 - 1700m.
Little information on diet, feeds probably on seeds and insects. Feeds mainly on ground.
Breeds from September to November and March to June in loose colonies. The nest is a dome with a side entrance made of grasses and placed in a tree. Takes sometimes abandonend nests of weavers. Lays 3 - 6 eggs.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Shelley's Sparrow. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 28 February 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Shelley%27s_Sparrow