Bird Families

Subgenus African gray-headed sparrows - Pyrgitopsis


Real sparrows

True sparrows are a genus of birds of the family of passerines, the typical representative of which is the house sparrow. As a rule, these are small birds with a short tail and a short powerful beak.

1. Appearance

They are distinguished by a strong, short, thick, conical, slightly bent beak, short legs armed with weak claws, rounded short wings and a short truncated or slightly notched tail.

Sparrows are characterized by sexual dimorphism, which means that males and females, as a rule, are colored differently; males are characterized by a black throat.

2. Lifestyle

They are sedentary or nomadic birds, and some species are migratory. Many species are synanthropic, being closely related to humans and settling near their dwellings and settlements.

Some species of Spanish sparrow nest in huge colonies in trees, others are not related to humans.

3. Reproduction

Nests are arranged in hollows, holes, buildings, or spherical nests are built in trees. They are chicks, chicks are first fed with insects, then seeds.

4. People and real sparrows

Some species of the Spanish, Indian subspecies of the house sparrow are malicious pests of cereals, and poisonous baits are being fought with them.

5. Classification

Previously, the genus of true sparrows was attributed to the weaver family.

In Europe, Asia and Africa, there are 27 other classifications - from 16 to 35 species of sparrows:

  • Saxaul sparrow Passer ammodendri Gould, 1872
  • Somali Sparrow Passer castanopterus Blyth, 1855
  • House Sparrow Passer domesticus Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Yellow-bellied Sparrow Passer flaveolus Blyth, 1845
  • Arabian golden sparrow Passer euchlorus Bonaparte, 1850)
  • Chestnut Sparrow Passer eminibey Hartlaub, 1880)
  • Passer cordofanicus Heuglin, 1871
  • Southern gray-headed sparrow Passer diffusus A. Smith, 1836)
  • South African sparrow Passer melanurus Statius Muller, 1776
  • Parrot-billed Sparrow Passer gongonensis Oustalet, 1890)
  • Gray-headed Sparrow Passer griseus Vieillot, 1817)
  • Great sparrow Passer motitensis A. Smith, 1848
  • Passer italiae Vieillot, 1817
  • Passer insularis Sclater et Hartlaub, 1881
  • Desert Sparrow Passer simplex Lichtenstein, 1823)
  • Passer shelleyi Sharpe, 1891
  • Mesopotamian Sparrow Passer moabiticus Tristram, 1864)
  • Swahill Sparrow Passer suahelicus Reichenow, 1904
  • Black-breasted Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis Temminck, 1820)
  • Field sparrow Passer montanus Linnaeus, 1758
  • Red Sparrow Passer rutilans Temminck, 1836)
  • Passer rufocinctus Fischer et Reichenow, 1884
  • Passer zarudnyi Pleske, 1896
  • Yellow Sparrow Passer luteus Lichtenstein, 1823
  • Svenson sparrow Passer swainsonii Ruppell, 1840)
  • Tugai sparrow Passer pyrrhonotus Blyth, 1845
  • Passer iagoensis Gould, 1838

In the past, Passer italiae was classified as a subspecies of either the brownie Passer d. italiae Vieillot, 1817), or the Spanish Passer h. italiae Temminck, 1820), and Passer cordofanicus as a subspecies of the large Passer m. cordofanicus.

On the territory of the former USSR, seven species were previously noted: brownie Passer domesticus, Indian Passer indicus, field Passer montanus, Spanish Passer hispaniolensis, saxaul Passer ammodendri, desert Passer simplex, and red Passer rutilans. Currently, the Indian sparrow is considered as a subspecies of the house sparrow Passer d. indicus.

6. Genetics

Most of the deposited sequences belong to the house sparrow Passer domesticus, the genetically most studied representative of this genus.

About the project

Apus is the Swift, the fastest bird on our planet that never lands directly on the ground.

The purpose of our "Swift" is to collect all the most interesting information about wildlife and share it with you.