Great Sparrow

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Common Name: Great Sparrow or Southern Rufous-sparrow
Scientific Name: Passer motitensis

Size: 6-6.3 inches (15-16 cm)

Habitat: Africa; Near-endemic to southern Africa, occurring from south-western Angola through to Namibia, Botswana, southern Zimbabwe and northern South Africa.

It generally prefers arid and semi-arid savanna woodland and shrubland, especially with Acacia trees, but it also occupies fallow grazing land with scattered bushes.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: Unknown amount of mature individuals. Populations appear to be stable.

Diet: Seeds of grains and other grasses, also eating leaves, fruits, and other plant materials, and occasionally insects. It forages both on the ground and in tree foliage.

Nesting: The Great sparrow has a grey crown; brown upper parts with a rufous rump and white under parts; it has a smaller black bib and a heavier bill than the House Sparrow.

The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of an untidy, thick-walled hollow ball with a side entrance, made of grass and asparagus leaves and lined with feathers and fine grass. It is typically placed in a thorn tree or bush, sometimes fairly exposed and easy to spot. It lays 2-4 eggs (September-April), which are incubated by both sexes for about 12-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents on a diet of insects, leaving the nest after about 15-18 days.

Cool Facts: The taxonomy of this species and the other "rufous sparrows" is confused. Some authors considered this species to be the same as the Iago Sparrow, and some recognize only some of the rufous sparrows as separate from the Great Sparrow.

Found in Songbird Remix Sparrows of the World

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