Cape Sparrow

Scientific Name:
Passer melanurus
Sub-Saharan Africa
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About the Cape Sparrow

Cape Sparrow (Passer melanurus) is a common and widespread bird species native to southern Africa.


Cape Sparrows are typically found in a variety of habitats, including open woodlands, savannas, grasslands, scrublands, parks, gardens, and urban areas. They are highly adaptable birds and can thrive in both natural and human-modified landscapes. These sparrows are often seen foraging for food on the ground or perched in bushes and trees, where they search for seeds, grains, insects, and other small prey.


Cape Sparrows are small to medium-sized birds, measuring approximately 14 to 16 centimeters (5.5 to 6.3 inches) in length. They have a stout build with a rounded head, short tail, and conical bill. Their plumage is sexually dimorphic, with males typically having a chestnut crown, black bib, and gray underparts, while females and juveniles have duller plumage with streaked or mottled patterns. Best Viewing The best places to view Cape Sparrows are in their native habitats within their range. Look for them in open woodlands, grasslands, parks, gardens, and urban areas where they are commonly found. These sparrows are often seen in small flocks or family groups, foraging for food on the ground or perched on shrubs and low vegetation.