Friday, 11 March 2011

Chestnut sparrow

Passer eminibey

Common name:
chestnut sparrow (en); pardal-castanho (pt); moineau d'Emin (fr); gorrión castaño (es); maronensperling (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Passeridae

These birds are found in eastern Africa, from Darfur in southern Sudan, through Somalia, Uganda and Kenya, an into Tanzania.

This small sparrow is 10,5-11,5 cm long and has a wingspan of 17-20 cm. They weigh 12-17 g.

They are mostly found in dry savanna, but also in agricultural fields, inside vilages and occasionally in swamps of papyrus.

Chestnut sparrows often forage in large, multi-specific flocks, together with queleas and other weavers. They mostly eat grass seeds and those near human habitations will also eat crumbs and other household scraps. Nestlings may sometimes be fed insects, namely small beetles.

The chestnut sparrow may breed all year round, following rains, and the breeding seasons of its hosts in areas where it parasitises nests. In some areas they use the nest other birds, namely weavers, while in other areas they build their nest on a tree, an untidy domed structure, made of grass and lined with feathers. Females lay 3-4 white or bluish-white eggs, which are incubated for 18-19 days. Some observations indicate that nestlings are fed by the female alone.

IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
Although the global population size has not been quantified, the species is described as common or locally common in most of its very large breeding range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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