It measures about 12-13 cm (4.7–5.1 in) in leght, with a wingspan of 5.7–7 cm (2.2–2.8 in). Males are distinctive in their bright yellow head and underparts, deep chestnut brown wings and back, and two white wingbars. In the breeding season the male's plumage is brighter still, and the bill changes colour from horn to shiny black. Females are pale sandy-buff with yellowish face, light brown wings, a back faintly streaked with chestnut, and pale yellow fading to whitish on the underparts. Juveniles are similar to females, but greyer.
The Sudan golden sparrow is a highly gregarious and nomadic bird and will form mixed flocks with other seed-eating birds, such as red-billed quelea, and other sparrows. Evening roosts, often in cities like Khartoum, may number hundreds of thousands of birds. It eats seeds and takes some insects, especially when feeding young. It prefers the grass seeds, including smaller cereal seeds, such as those of millet. In captivity it is fed the mixture of foxtail millet and other grains with vegetables, mealworms, and other supplements usually fed to weavers.It breeds in very large colonies, of as many as 65,000 nests. The nest is a very large, untidy, domed built of twigs made in tree branches, with a feather-lined nest chamber. One or two clutches a year are laid, typically of three or four eggs. Eggs are white with dark spots.
Distribution and habitatEdit
It breeds across Africa to the south of the Sahara from Senegal east to Sudan and Ethiopia. In April 2009 a flock of seven was found to the north-west of Aousserd, Morocco. Two birds were seen in 2013 and a few more in 2014. It is a bird of dry open savanna, semi-desert, arid scrub and cereal cultivation.