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Birds

Birding Málaga

Birds

Common name Eurasian tree sparrow
Scientific name Passer montanus
Type Farmland birds
Status Resident

Small bird (about 14 cm or 5.5 in) very similar to the House Sparrow but not in size. Brown upperparts with black stripes; light grey breast and belly. White cheeks with a black spot, large chestnut brown cap on the head and white neck ring that is interrupted in the nape (differential features). Throat with a shortened black bib. Males and females do not differ in the plumage.

Habitats

Cultivated areas

Where it lives

It is the most forestal of sparrows. It uses from crops and open meadows up to dense wood stands. Preference for mixed formations of farmlands with scattered trees, groves and wastelands. Also present in fertile plains, olive groves, parks, orchards and outskirts of towns.

How it lives

Species resident in the province and that can be watched all year round. This sparrow species breeds from April. Nest in trees, cracks or human constructions. It makes one annual laying of 4 to 7 eggs and feeds on vegetable matter and small invertebrates. Very nervous and less trusting behaviour than the House Sparrow. Although the Eurasian Tree Sparrow is a terrestrial bird, it usually stays short time in the same place on the ground.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Frequent and well distributed species in the province, except in high mountain areas. It breeds in the mouths of the Vélez and Guadalhorce rivers and in several locations of the fertile plains of these rivers and of the northeastern and Antequera regions, valleys of the Genal and the Guadiaro. It is usually confused with the House Sparrow in many stages of the Great Path in which it is present (2, 3, 6, 9, 11 to 18, among others).

Curious facts

The Latin name of this species means that it is a mountain sparrow, not a very suitable epithet for the habitat preferences of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, much more linked to the countryside. In German it is known as a “country sparrow”, as opposed to the House Sparrow, much more linked to towns and cities. The common name in Spanish (“molinero”, which stands for "miller") derives from the fact that it was common to see it near the mills when the grain was ground.

Present
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Wintering Summer Resident Migration
Audios