• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Cape Sparrow - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 20:19, 21 August 2023 by Deliatodd-18346 (talk | contribs) (→‎External Links: Typo)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Photo by Mybs
Cedarberg Wilderness area, Western Cape, South Africa, March 2005
Passer melanurus


Length 14-16 cm, mass 20-38 g.
Adult male: Head black with broad white semicircles from behind eyes to side of throat. Nape and mantle greyish, merging into rufous or chestnut back and rump.
Adult female: Similar to the male, but with a grey and white head.


South Africa, Lesotho, western eSwatini, Botswana, Namibia, coastal south-western Angola, south-western Zimbabwe.


Photo by Alan Manson
Cedara Farm, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, September 2007

Passer melanurus has three subspecies:


The Cape Sparrow lives in dry areas of southern Africa like the arid and semi-arid savanna, dry woodland along drainage lines and seasonal watercourses; also croplands, plantations and copses of alien trees, parks and gardens.



Forages mainly on the ground for seeds and insects, but also takes fruits, seeds and nectar directly from plants.


The Cape Sparrow nests singly, or in loose colonies (up to 100 pairs; up to 15 nests in one tree). The nest is an untidy mass of grass and other plant material with a tunnel entrance and is thickly lined with feathers or soft plant material. Laying usually August to March (2-6 eggs).


  1. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1