Family Old World Sparrows (Passeridae)


Abd al Kuri Sparrow (Passer hemileucus)


French: Moineau d’Abd-al-Kuri German: Adensperling Spanish: Gorrión de Abd al Kuri

Passer hemileucus

Ogilvie-Grant and H. O. Forbes

, 1899,

#R, Abd al Kuri Island


Until recently considered conspecific with P. insularis, but differs in its smaller size (mean male tail, n=5, 55 mm vs 60.55, n=18, in insularis#R; at least 1); (in male) paler, shorter throat patch (2); whitish vs smudgily grey-black upper breast below throat patch (2); bold white wingstripe (white tips of median coverts) (2); narrower black eyeline (ns[1]); paler grey crown and upperparts with weaker black streaking (ns[1]); almost pure white vs pale grey underparts (ns[1]); and (in female) no trace of grey throat patch of female insularis (ns[1]). Monotypic.


Abd al Kuri I (between NE Somalia and Socotra).

Descriptive notes

c. 12–12·5 cm; 20–25 g. Very similar to the geographically quite distant P. pyrrhonotus (SE Iran to NW India). Compared to formerly conspecific P. insularis... read more


No information on vocalizations, but to date there has been no suggestion that the species’... read more


Believed to principally prefer bush-clad slopes and hillside gullies in predominantly rocky areas,... read more

Food and feeding

Only dietary information is that stomach contents of one individual contained ‘vegetable matter’, but species can clearly be expected to... read more


No information, but a juvenile was trapped in Mar. Nest and nest-site presumably similar to those of P. insularis.


None known; presumed to be basically resident and sedentary.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Socotra EBA and Abd al Kuri IBA. Range no more than 133 km², although some of the island of Abd al Kuri lacks suitable... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Abd al Kuri Sparrow (Passer hemileucus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 7 December 2019).