The white ear patch and sandy grey back and wings are very distinctive on the male. The female has a black belly patch and unstreaked flanks with a pale collar that extends around the ear coverts.
Semi-desert and arid shrubland, grassland and savanna.
Nomadic in response to rainfall and partially migratory.
Mainly seeds but also insects.
Monogamous. It builds a cup nest usually concealed next to a grass tuft or shrub.