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Old Sunday 5th November 2017, 11:32   #1
Joern Lehmhus
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Unusual Sparrow Kruger NP 22.01.1996

https://www.flickr.com/photos/141950...l-hybridbirds/

Don´t know what this is, but made a detailed description at that time, finally came round to color it. Seen in Kruger NP in South Africa. If a hybrid, the Passer sp. in the broader region of southern Africa are:

Passer diffusus- Southern Grey-headed sparrow,
Passer motitensis - Great sparrow
Passer melanurus - Cape sparrow.
Passer domesticus - House sparrow (introduced)

None of them really fits.

Concerning sparrows from other areas of the world,
I see some similarities especially in head pattern with male Sind sparrow Passer pyrrhonotus, but other wise it seems too much patterned
http://orientalbirdimages.org/birdim...Image_ID=35412

http://orientalbirdimages.org/birdim...176&pagesize=1

That would also be in quite another region of the world.


So a hybrid?
Here is a description of Cape x Great sparrow, clearly different.

http://faansiepeacock.com/sparrow-hybrids/


I really don´t know....Anybody with South African bird experience who could help?

Last edited by Joern Lehmhus : Sunday 5th November 2017 at 11:35.
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Old Sunday 5th November 2017, 18:42   #2
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Why isn't it just a slightly aberrant Great Sparrow? It's a great drawing but still it's "only" a drawing. I've never seen Great Sparrow but from photos it does look very similar despite a stronger bill, normally more rufous on the side of the head and a less prominent collar...

Maybe you already know this collection of photos: http://picssr.com/tags/passermotitensis/interesting
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Old Monday 6th November 2017, 19:35   #3
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Well, there are quite a lot things that do not fit, as you see in the drawing and the description I gave.

1. grey rump (reddish brown in P. motitensis); that was the first thing that struck me as not correct for that ID
2. really darkened greyish cheek and belly, with whitish collar
3. no whitish spot before/above the eye

http://www.birdforum.net/opus/Image:...us_Sparrow.jpg

http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20p?s...s=640&mobile=1


also I am not sure if Olifants is still in the range of the species?
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Old Monday 6th November 2017, 19:39   #4
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I think there isnt a confirmed record of Great Sparrow in Kruger NP.

last year in November we actually have not seen any of the three mentioned species above at all inside the Park boundaries but I know that at elast Hosue Sparrow tends to breed in some camps from time to time.
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Old Monday 6th November 2017, 19:52   #5
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House sparrow was at Olifants that time, few birds. But this bird was alone at the time I saw it, though also in the camp grounds near the buildings.
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Old Friday 10th November 2017, 19:53   #6
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Nobody with an idea on this?


I tried to find something that fits

Some pictures of Sind sparrow Passer pyrrhonotus are close

http://orientalbirdimages.org/birdim...s&Bird_ID=2106

http://orientalbirdimages.org/birdim...ID=&pagesize=1

but that doesn´t make any sense considering the range of this Asian species.

so I am down to two options :

Either it is an aberrant house sparrow (possibly most likely?)

or it is a hybrid house sparrow x maybe southern grey sparrow?
There is a mention of a hybrid in the book: Avian hybrids, but as Cape sparroe (Passer diffusus) x House sparrow (Passer domesticus. Cape sparrow should be Passer melanurus (but P.diffusus is southern grey sparrow), so that is not a clear record.
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