- Passer swainsonii
- Darkish grey head, neck and underparts
- Small white patch on belly, indistinct paler patch on throat
- Dull brown mantle and back
- Chestnut rump
- Brown upperwing with cinnamon-red on shoulder and narrow white wingbar
- the wing bar does not always appear to be present in adults and may be age-related
- Brown tail
- Black bill
Juveniles lack white wing-bar.
Differs from Northern Grey-headed Sparrow in being larger and darker, lacking clear white throat patch and having more prominent white wing-bar. Differs from Parrot-billed Sparrow in being smaller and less dark, having a smaller bill and a smaller white wingbar.
Found in all habitats but dense forest: open country with bushes and scrub, cultivated land, towns and villages. Occurs at 1400 - 4500m in Ethiopia, but also at sea-level in the north of its range.
Feeds on seeds of grasses and cultivated cereals. Nestlings are fed with insects.
Forages in piars or small groups, outside breeding season also seen in larger flocks.
Breeding may take place all year, coinciding with rains. The nest is a dome with a side entrance, made of dry grass. It's placed in a tree, sometimes in a tree hole or a hole in a building. Does also take abandoned nests of other species like swallows. Lays 3 - 6 eggs.
A nomadic species.
- Clements, JF. 2010. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2010. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/Clements%206.5.xls/view
- 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) Swainson's Sparrow. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 21 September 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Swainson%27s_Sparrow