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Common name Spanish sparrow
Scientific name Passer hispaniolensis
Type Shrubland birds
Status Resident

Small bird (approx 16 cm or 6.5 in) similar to the House Sparrow. Summer plumage of barred black colour, especially on the back, breast and flanks. Whitish underparts that connect with the barring of the breast. Big black bib. White cheeks, an extensive chestnut brown cap that reaches the neck and line like a black mask that covers the eyes and highlights a large white eyebrow. Females (all year) and males in winter with similar plumage and difficult to differentiate from the House Sparrow.


Cultivated areas

Where it lives

Species with preference for farmlands or bushes with wooded boundaries, isolated copses, olive groves, riverbanks and irrigated crops.

How it lives

Bird resident in the province all year round. It breeds from April. Nest in trees, supply poles or abandoned buildings. One annual laying of 2 to 8 eggs. The Spanish Sparrow feeds on seeds, fruits, shoots and vegetable matter in general. It consumes small invertebrates during its reproductive season.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

It is a frequent species and that can be observed in much of the Malaga countryside, for example in the fertile plains of Antequera and Guadalteba, lowlands of the Vélez and Guadalhorce rivers or farmlands of the northeastern region. In the Great Path it can be watched in stages 2 and 12.

Curious facts

The Spanish Sparrow is an autochthonous species native to the Iberian Peninsula. Although it also appears in North Africa and some Mediterranean islands, both its common and its Latin name (hispaniolensis) make clear reference to its origin. This bird is an expanding and colonial species all year round. Its success is based on group life, both when it comes to breeding and when it comes to foraging or defending against predators.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration