Dead Sea Sparrow

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Common Name: Dead Sea Sparrow
Scientific Name: Passer moabiticus

Size: 5 inches (12-13 cm)

Habitat: Europe, Africa and Asia; found in around the River Jordan, Dead Sea, and into Iraq, Iran and western Afghanistan.

It is migratory or dispersive, although the regular wintering grounds of this nomadic species are largely unknown, except that the eastern race winters in Pakistan. Flocks of the nominate western race have been found in winter further south in the Middle East.

It prefers dry lowlands with shrub cover.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 7,300-120,000 mature individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Diet: Seeds, occasionally insects.

Nesting: Dead Sea Sparrows are sexually dimorphic. The male has a grey crown, rear neck and cheeks, and a small black bib. It has a pale supercilium shading to buff at the rear, and yellow neck sides. The upper parts are dark-streaked reddish brown, and the under parts are grey-white. The female is like a small House Sparrow, with a streaked brown back, greyish head and buff-white under parts. She is paler and smaller billed than her relative, and sometimes shows yellow on the neck sides.

Dead Sea Sparrows breed in dry lowlands with some shrubs and tamarisk, with close access to water. Nests are built in trees and 4-7 eggs are laid.

Cool Facts: The eastern race of the Dead Sea Sparrow (Passer moabiticus yatii) is sandier, and the male has a yellow wash to the under parts.

The flight call is a high-pitched chi-wit. This species is often silent.

Found in Songbird Remix Sparrows of the World

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