548 Yellow-throated Sparrow

 
The Yellow-throated Sparrow (Petronia xanthocollis), also known as Chestnut-shouldered Petronia, is about 11 cm long with ashy-brown upperpart, chestnut wings having two white narrow bars, brownish-white underside, white vent and undertail, a yellow spot on the middle of the throat, and a fine blackish bill. It is a resident breeder in the plains, forests, and gardens of India and other parts of Asia.


In his boyhood Salim Ali, who in future was to become a world-renowned ornithologist, shot this sparrow because it looked different from other sparrows, and took it to the then secretary of the Bombay Natural History Society W. S. Millard. Millard identified it for him, and at the same time introduced him to the literature and collections of various specimens at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which was the meeting place of the BNHS. From then on, Salim Ali got interested in the study of birds and ultimately fully devoted his life to ornithology, becoming one of the most outstanding ornithologists India produced. In 2003, the BHNS published a tribute to him entitled Petronia.1,2
[1 Daniels, R. J. R. (2008). "Can we save the sparrow?"(PDF). Current Science 95 (11): 1527–1528. 2 Daniel, J. C.; and Ugra, G. W. (editors) (2003). Petronia: Fifty Years of Post-Independence Ornithology in India. A Centenary Dedication to Dr. Salim Ali, 1896–1996.. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0.-19-566653-4]