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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Cape Sparrow

Afrikaans name: Gewone mossie

Cape Sparrow

Photo © Steven Herbert

Passer melanurus

The Cape Sparrow is a familar bird over large parts of South Africa. It is mainly found in the western parts of South Africa and further up north as far as Angola.

They are normally seen in small flocks but sometimes, away from human habitation, it can be seen in flocks of around 200.

Cape Sparrows mainly eat seed but they will also eat certain insects, nectar, fruit and soft shoots of plants. They can cause damage to crops.

Most often Cape Sparrows breed in colonies but some birds choose to breed away from the colony. The nest is a domed structure made of grass and twigs. They do sometimes use cavities in buildings or other man-made structures. Between 2 and 6 eggs are laid and are tended to by both parents.

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References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 22

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 108

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 213

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 77

Geoff Lockwood's Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Year Published: - Page: 93

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 712

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 710

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 414

List of South African Birds

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