Somali sparrow

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Somali sparrow
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Infraorder: Passerida
Superfamily: Passeroidea
Family: Passeridae
Genus: Passer
Species: P. castanopterus
Binomial name
Passer castanopterus
Blyth, 1855
Specimen at Nairobi National Museum in Kenya

The Somali sparrow (Passer castanopterus) is a member of the bird family Passeridae found in northern Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

It is considered a superspecies with the russet sparrow (Passer rutilans) and sometimes is even treated as the same species. However, the similarities in plumage and morphology between the two seem to represent convergent evolution rather than a single lineage.[2]

Two subspecies are recognized:

  • P.c. castanopterus Blyth, 1855 – Djibouti, Somalia, and eastern Ethiopia
  • P.c. fulgens Friedmann, 1931 – southern Ethiopia, and northern Kenya (south to Kapedo and Marsabit).


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Passer castanopterus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Summers-Smith, D. (2013) [2009]. "Russet Sparrow (Passer rutilans)". In del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 6 September 2014.