Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis)

Spanish Sparrow

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Passeridae | [latin] Passer hispaniolensis | [UK] Spanish Sparrow | [FR] Moineau espagnol | [DE] Weidensperling | [ES] Gorrion Moruno | [NL] Spaanse Mus


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Passer hispaniolensis EU sw, sc, also n Africa
Passer hispaniolensis hispaniolensis
Passer hispaniolensis transcaspicus

Physical charateristics

The male has a cap the colour of chocolate, with a white stripe over the eye, the throat and breast being black. Its cheeks are white and there are white stripes on its black dorsum. The colour of the female is lighter and more uniform, a grey-brown colour, with a striped flank and darker wings. It also has a yellow superciliary stripe.

Listen to the sound of Spanish Sparrow

[audio: Sparrow.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 23 cm wingspan max.: 26 cm
size min.: 14 cm size max.: 16 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Eurasia : Southwest, Southcentral, also North Africa


It is an anthrophilous species that uses the habitats made available in urban areas, such as gardens and public squares. It is also found in farming areas, mainly where abandoned fields coexist with creeping vegetation.


This species breeds in large colonies, building its dome-shaped nest in trees,. The female lays from 3 to 7 eggs. The young hatch in 12 days, and they fed by the breeding pair for two weeks before leaving the nest. A breeding pair raises one to three broods between the months of April and July.

Feeding habits

Spanish Sparrows are primarily ground-feeding seed-eaters, though they also consume small insects especially when breeding.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Spanish Sparrow status Least Concern


Pattern very complex. Some southern populations mainly sedentary, but others partially migratory. Populations in north-west Africa both migratory and nomadic. Eastern populations show more regular migratory behaviour, in some areas moving further north for successive breeding attempts. Winters in Spain, North Africa, Middle East, central Asia, northern Pakistan, and north-west India.

Distribution map

Spanish Sparrow distribution range map

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