Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis)
Species
Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis). Male. Taken at La Oliva, Fuerteventura on March 12th 2018.
Male. Taken at La Oliva, Fuerteventura on March 12th 2018.
(1/320th sec at f13. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis). Female. Taken at La Oliva, Fuerteventura, on March 13th 2018.
Female. Taken at La Oliva, Fuerteventura, on March 13th 2018.
(1/800th sec at f9. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)

Description

L: 15 - 16 cm

The Spanish Sparrow is slightly larger and heavier than the House Sparrow, and also has a slightly longer and stouter bill. The male is similar to the House Sparrow in plumage, but has a red-brown crown, white cheeks, a blacker back, and underparts heavily streaked with black. The female is effectively inseparable from House Sparrow on plumage.

It has a complex distribution, being found on the Cape Verde Islands, the Canary Islands, Madeira, northern Africa, western Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, the Balkans, and across southwest and central Asia from Turkey east to westernmost China. It is however absent from some parts of the Mediterranean region, notably Italy and Corsica.

It usually breeds in tall shrubbery or in clumps of trees, often in large colonies.

It often hybridizes with the House Sparrow where the two species overlap (mostly in north Africa).

The Spanish Sparrow is regarded as being of Least Concern by the IUCN.

Sightings

15-Nov-2018 : Extremadura, Spain
13-Nov-2018 : Extremadura, Spain
12-Nov-2018 : Extremadura, Spain
11-Nov-2018 : Extremadura, Spain
15-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
14-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
13-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
12-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
11-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
10-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
09-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
06-Nov-2016 : La Janda, Spain (4+)
23-Jul-2015 : nr Novo Hodzhovo, Bulgaria
21-Jul-2015 : Melnik, Bulgaria
21-Jul-2015 : Rupite Hot Springs, Bulgaria
25-Jun-2014 : Rupite Hot Springs, Bulgaria
21-Jun-2014 : Byal gradets, Bulgaria
19-Jun-2014 : Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria