African species that varies quite widely. Its habitat can be found in all types of open and wooded grasslands, from moist to semi-arid; some forests, but not rain forests. Also cultivated areas where water and cover are available. They feed on seeds, sedge tubers, and insects, especially grasshoppers and termites. During the breeding season the female will make a scrape in dense cover and line it with feathers and grass. She lays up to 12 eggs, but some communal nests have up to 50 eggs.
They are often to be seen in ornamental bird collections in the UK and the rest of the world.