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Birdwatching in Africa - Swainson's Sparrow, Passer swainsonii


Swainson's Sparrow (Passer swainsonii) is a species of bird in the sparrow family Passeridae. Sometimes considered a subspecies of the Grey-headed Sparrow, it occurs in northeastern Africa, largely in the Ethiopian Highlands. This sparrow was named after the English naturalist and illustrator William John Swainson.

Distribution and habitat
It occurs in the highlands of Ethiopia and Somalia, and in some of Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Kenya. Apart from the far west, it is common throughout its range. Some populations show seasonal migrations.

The habitats of the Swainson's sparrow are mountainous areas, marshes, open forest areas, savannas and shrubby grasslands. However, most often it occurs in human settlements and their surroundings. In Eritrea, it lives mostly on the open plateau at an altitude of 1,200 metres above sea level, and in Ethiopia it occurs in areas of 1,200–4,500 metres above sea level.

In Ethiopian towns it is the common sparrow, similarly to the House Sparrow in most of Eurasia.

Swainson's Sparrow, Passer swainsonii

Range map
Range map from www.oiseaux.net - Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
www.oiseaux.net is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there


Description
The Swainson's sparrow reaches a body length of 16 centimetres. There is no conspicuous sexual dimorphism.

It is often considered a race of grey-headed sparrow, but it tends to be darker, especially on the head and shoulders. There is a white bar on the shoulder, but this is not always visible. Similarly, the pale chestnut tail and rump is not always visible.

Length: 16 cm
Wingspan:
Weight: 27 - 35 g
Longevity:
Distinctive Feature

Similar Species

• Differs from Northern Grey-headed Sparrow in being larger and darker, lacking clear white throat patch and having more prominent white wing-bar. Differs from Parrot-billed Sparrow in being smaller and less dark, having a smaller bill and a smaller white wingbar.

From opus at www.birdforum.net the forum for wild birds and birding.
Female / Male

• Sexes similar. Juveniles lack white wing-bar.

From opus at www.birdforum.net the forum for wild birds and birding.


Listen to the Swainson's Sparrow

Remarks from the Recordist

Calls from single bird in hedge in resort garden. Same bird as featured in XC473956.



www.xeno-canto.org



Behaviour
Swainson's sparrows eat mostly seeds of grasses and cereals, and insects.

The nest is a loose ball assembled from grass and feathers. A nest may be built on branches, or in the crown of palm trees, or in tree hollows. The birds also use cavities in buildings, and the old nests of the Ethiopian swallow and African sand martin.

They have been observed once removing nestlings of the African sand martin to take over their nests. A clutch contains three to six eggs. They are white with brown and gray spots. The breeding season falls in Eritrea during January to March and May to November, in Ethiopia breeding may occur from April to December.[3]

Outside the breeding season they live in flocks, sometimes consisting of several hundred individuals. Swarms of this size can cause some damage when they come in agricultural regions and gardens.

Conservation status
Conservation status
Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

www.birdforum.net


Sighted: (Date of first photo that I could use) 20 October 2019
Location: Chelekleka Lake, Bebre Zeit, Ethiopia


Swainson's Sparrow, Passer swainsonii
Swainson's Sparrow - 20 October 2019 - Chelekleka Lake, Bebre Zeit, Ethiopia

Swainson's Sparrow, Passer swainsonii
Swainson's Sparrow - 20 October 2019 - Chelekleka Lake, Bebre Zeit, Ethiopia

Swainson's Sparrow, Passer swainsonii
Swainson's Sparrow - 20 October 2019 - Chelekleka Lake, Bebre Zeit, Ethiopia

Swainson's Sparrow, Passer swainsonii
Swainson's Sparrow - 20 October 2019 - Chelekleka Lake, Bebre Zeit, Ethiopia

Swainson's Sparrow, Passer swainsonii
Swainson's Sparrow - 25 October 2019 - Getva Hotel in Debre Birhan, Ethiopia

Swainson's Sparrow, Passer swainsonii
Swainson's Sparrow - 25 October 2019 - Lime, Ethiopia

Swainson's Sparrow, Passer swainsonii
Swainson's Sparrow - 26 October 2019 - Ethio-German Park Hotel, Debre Libanos, Ethiopia

Swainson's Sparrow, Passer swainsonii
Swainson's Sparrow - 26 October 2019 - Ethio-German Park Hotel, Debre Libanos, Ethiopia



PLEASE! If I have made any mistakes identifying any bird, PLEASE let me know on my guestbook



       
                  



                                       

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