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House Sparrow | Passer domesticus

The House Sparrow is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Passeridae bird family group which includes birds such as Sparrows, Petronias.

The description for the House Sparrow (Latin name Passer domesticus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Passer domesticus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 801 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1082. You will find a picture of the House Sparrow on page 1009.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

Neither the Latin nor the Engish name for this bird has been affected by recent nomenclature modifications ? these changes have been incorporated into Robert's 7th Edition where appropriate.

The House Sparrow is known in Afrikaans as Huismossie.

The House Sparrow has a height of 15 cms and weighs around 26 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured brown. The Passer domesticus has a white coloured throat, pink legs and a grey, brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Passer domesticus has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey

Eyes are brown

Bill is brown

Legs are pink

Throat is white

Back is grey, brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

The Passer domesticus forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The bird builds its nest within a tree cavity just a few meters above the ground. The hole in the tree is normally reused in the next nesting season.

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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