Great sparrow

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Great sparrow
Great Sparrow.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Infraorder: Passerida
Superfamily: Passeroidea
Family: Passeridae
Genus: Passer
Species: P. motitensis
Binomial name
Passer motitensis
Smith, 1836[2]

The great sparrow, also known as the southern rufous sparrow or the rufous sparrow (Passer motitensis) is found in southern Africa in dry, wooded savannah and towns.[1][3]

This is a 15–16 cm long sparrow superficially like a large house sparrow. It has a grey crown and rear neck and rufous upperparts.[4][5][6]

The taxonomy of this species and the other "rufous sparrows" is confused. Some authors considered this species to be the same as the Iago sparrow, and some recognise only some of the rufous sparrows as separate from the great sparrow, but the Handbook of the Birds of the World recognises the Socotra sparrow, Kenya sparrow, Kordofan sparrow, and Shelley's sparrow.[7]


  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Passer motitensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Clancey, P. A. (1964). "On the original description of Passer iagoensis motitensis Smith". Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. 84 (6): 110. 
  3. ^ Clement, Harris & Davis 1993, pp. 453–455
  4. ^ Summers-Smith 1988, pp. 80–81
  5. ^ Herremans, M. (1997). "Great Sparrow". In Harrison, J. A.; Allan, D. G.; Underhill, L. G.; Herremans, M.; Tree, A. J.; Parker, V.; Brown, C. J. The Atlas of Southern African Birds (PDF). 1. BirdLife South Africa. 
  6. ^ Jensen, R. A. C. (1989). "Great Sparrow". In Ginn, P. J.; McIlleron, W. G.; Milstein, P. le S. The Complete Book of Southern African Birds. Cape Town: Struik Winchester. p. 650. ISBN 0-947430-11-3. 
  7. ^ Kirwan, Guy M. (2008). "Studies of Socotran Birds III. Morphological and mensural evidence for a 'new' species in the Rufous Sparrow Passer motitensis complex endemic to the island of Abd 'Al Kuri, with the validation of Passer insularis Sclater & Hartlaub, 1881". Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. 128 (2): 83–93. 
Works cited
  • Clement, Peter; Harris, Alan; Davis, John (1993). Finches and Sparrows. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-03424-9. 
  • Sinclair, Ian; Hockey, Phil; Tarboton, Warwick (2002). SASOL Birds of Southern Africa. Struik. ISBN 1-86872-721-1. 
  • Summers-Smith, J. Denis (1988). The Sparrows. illustrated by Robert Gillmor. Calton, Staffs, England: T. & A. D. Poyser. ISBN 0-85661-048-8. 
  • Summers-Smith, J. Denis (2009). "Family Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)". In del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Christie, David. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-84-96553-50-7. 

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