Alternative names: Great Rufous Sparrow; Southern Rufous Sparrow; Namibia Rufous Sparrow (benguellensis)
- Passer motitensis
15 - 16cm. One of the largest sparrows.
- Blue-grey crown and nape
- Black lores
- Chestnut crescent-shaped band from eye to side of neck, encircling paler grey ear-coverts
- Small black bib on chin and central throat
- Chestnut upperparts
- Bodly streaked black mantle and inner scapulars
- Blackish to dark brown upperwing
- Broad white tips on medain coverts
- Dark brown tail
- Pale grey underparts
Females have the same plumage pattern but are duller and the chestnut on the head is replaced by creamy buff. Juveniles resemble females but look more washed-out.
Passer motitensis has three subspecies:1
- P. m. benguellensis
- P. m. subsolanus
- P. m. motitensis
Dry, wooded savanna. Not associated with man.
Less sociable than most sparrows and usually encountered in pairs.
Feeds on seeds of grass and cultivated cereals. Nestlings are fed with insects.
Breeding season from September to February. A solitary breeder. The nest is a dome of the size of a rugby football with an entrance at the top end and made of grass. It's placed in a thorny tree, sometimes in a rock crevice. Lays 3 - 6 eggs.
A nomadic species.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Great Sparrow. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 24 January 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Great_Sparrow