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Shelley's Sparrow

From Opus

Alternative name: Shelley's Rufous Sparrow; White Nile Rufous Sparrow

Photo by volker sthamerYabello, Ethiopia, October 2011
Photo by volker sthamer
Yabello, Ethiopia, October 2011
Passer shelleyi


[edit] Identification

13 - 15cm.

[edit] Male

  • Blue grey crown to upper mantle, ear-coverts and cheek
  • Black lores, chin and throat
  • Broad chestnut band extending from above eye around rear of ear-coverts and on neck side forward, black line underneath
  • Rufous chestnut lower mantle to upertail-coverts, streaked black on mantle and uper back
  • Blackish to dark brown upperwing
  • White tips on median coverts
  • Dark brown tail
  • Greyish underparts
  • Horn-coloured bill, blackish in breeding season

[edit] Female

  • Similar to male but much duller
  • Dark grey bib
  • Chestnut replaced by buff

Juveniles are similar to females but they look paler and washed-out.

[edit] Similar species

Smaller than Great Sparrow. Note also paler eye, greyer face and more grey on neck and mantle (especially in nominate).

[edit] Distribution

Found in southeastern South Sudan, northeast Uganda, western Kenya, southern and eastern Ethiopia and northwest Somalia.
Common in Ethiopia and Uganda, rare in Kenya.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.
It has been considered conspecific with Kenya Sparrow and Kordofan Sparrow in the past.

[edit] Habitat

Open grassy savanna with trees, also in adjacent semi-deserts and light woodland. Does not penetrate into villages and associate with humans. Occurs from 1000 - 1700m.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Little information on diet, feeds probably on seeds and insects. Feeds mainly on ground.

[edit] Breeding

Breeds from September to November and March to June in loose colonies. The nest is a dome with a side entrance made of grasses and placed in a tree. Takes sometimes abandonend nests of weavers. Lays 3 - 6 eggs.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. 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

[edit] External Links


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