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.

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 192

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 69

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 334

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 64

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 45

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 103

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

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

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 380

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 557

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

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 547

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 406

Newmans Garden Birds - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1991 - Page: 110

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 406

LBJs - Author: Newman, Johnson, Solomon, Masterson - Published: 1998 - Page: 116

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 107

Know your Garden Birds - Author: - Published: 0 - Page: 23

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 300

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 133

Geoff Lockwoods Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Published: 0 - Page: 93

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 24

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

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

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 252

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 114

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 213

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 267

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

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 22

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 296


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List of South African Birds

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