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

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

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

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

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

Everyone's Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 24

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

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

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

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

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

Newman's Garden Birds - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 110

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 334

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

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

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 - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 380

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

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

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

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

List of South African Birds

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