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Yellow-throated Sparrow - BirdForum Opus

Disambiguation: Yellow-throated Sparrow has been used for this species, for Yellow-spotted Bush Sparrow and for Yellow-throated Bush Sparrow.
Alternative names: Chestnut-shouldered Petronia, Chestnut-shouldered Sparrow, Chestnut-shouldered Bush-Sparrow.

Nominate subspecies, male, breeding plumage
Photo by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India, June-2013
Gymnoris xanthocollis

Petronia xanthocollis


12.5 - 14cm (5-5½ in) A smallish drab sparrow with a long and slender bill

  • Entirely unstreaked plumage
  • Prominent white double wing-bars
  • Male with chestnut shoulders
  • Inconspicuous yellow throat spot
  • Black bill in breeding season, pale in winter, always pale in female

Females are duller, lack the yellow throat spot and the chestnut shoulders. Juveniles have buffy wing-bars.

Similar species

Sometimes mistaken for a female House Sparrow but unstreaked and without supercilium.

Subspecies G. s. transfuga, male
Photo by kuwaity
Sabiya, Kuwait, May 2004


From Turkey east to Pakistan and India.
Common, locally abundant in India.


In the past, this species was placed in genus Petronia.
Yellow-throated Sparrow was split from Yellow-throated Bush Sparrow and Yellow-spotted Bush Sparrow, both of which have been known under the name of Yellow-throated Sparrow.


Nominate subspecies, female
Photo by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India, July-2015

Two subspecies recognized:


Forest and open scrub. Also in cultivated areas and villages. Occurs up to 1500m.



Feeds on plant material, mainly seeds. Takes also small berries and nectar, in breeding season also insects.
Forages mostly on ground. Gregarious and often seen in small groups, outside breeding season in larger flocks.


Breeding season February to May in India. Solitary breeding or in small groups. The nest is made of grass, wool, hair and feathers. It's placed in a tree hole or in a hole in a wall or building. Takes also old nests of other species. Lays 3 - 4 eggs.


Nominate subspecies, juvenile
Photo by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan India, 22 June 2017

In the north and northwest of range a partial migrant. Resident in most of India.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. 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

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