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Sudan Golden Sparrow - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Golden Sparrow

Photo by tomjenner
Tuti Island, Sudan, December 2011
Passer luteus


12 - 13 cm.


  • Golden-yellow head and underparts
  • Chestnut mantle, scapulars and back
  • Yellowish-grey rump
  • Black median and outer greater upperwing-coverts with white tips
  • Blackish flight-feathers, edged warm brown to rufous
  • Brown tail
  • Brown eye
  • Horn-coloured bill, black in breeding season


  • Sandy brown top of head and upperparts
  • Pale creamy yellow face and underparts
  • Pale yellowish-buff supercilium
  • Wings like male but slightly browner

Juveniles are similar to females but have grey flecks on back of head and nape.


Occurs in the Sahel zone in Africa south of the Sahara in a narrow band from Mauritania and Senegal east to the coast of the Red Sea in Sudan.
Locally common to abundant. Range may shift with droughts.


A monotypic species.
Has been considered conspecific with Arabian Golden Sparrow and forms a superspecies with it. Both taxons have been placed in genus Auripasser in the past.


Sandy arid savannas with a low density of shrub and trees.



Feeds oon seeds of grasses and cultivated cereals. Nestlings are fed with insects.
A highly gregarious species, often seen in large flocks also mixed with other species like weavers.


Opportunistic breeder, breeding coincides with rain. A colonial breeder with colonies up to 65'000 nests! The nest is a closed dome with a side entrance and made of dead twigs. It's placed in a tree (one tree can hold up to 30 nests). Lays 3 - 4 eggs.


A highly nomadic species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. 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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