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Great Sparrow | Passer motitensis

The Great 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 Great Sparrow (Latin name Passer motitensis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Passer motitensis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 802 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1084. You will find a picture of the Great 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 Great Sparrow has a height of 16 cms and weighs around 32 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured black. The Passer motitensis has a white coloured throat, brown legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Passer motitensis 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 black

Legs are brown

Throat is white

Back is grey

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Great Sparrow is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

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

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Great Sparrow is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured green.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The Great Sparrow is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and it can withstand high day and night temperatures

The bird is found in the African bushveld

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Great Sparrow is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

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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