French: Moineau mélanure German: Kapsperling Spanish: Gorrión de El Cabo
Cape Town, South Africa
Subspecies and Distribution
P. m. damarensis
Reichenow, 1902 – SW Angola (S from Benguela), Namibia, Botswana and SW Zimbabwe S to N South Africa (S to Northern Cape, North West Province and N Limpopo Province); one recent record from extreme SW Mozambique#R.
P. m. melanurus
(Statius Müller, 1776) – SW South Africa (S Northern Cape and Western Cape E to SW Free State).
P. m. vicinus
Clancey, 1958 – E South Africa (S Limpopo Province S to E Free State, W KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape), Lesotho and (rare) W Swaziland.
14–16 cm; 17–38 g. Male nominate race has entire head down to upper breast black apart from white crescent-shaped band from eye back to nape and then forward to... read more
Call of male at nest a distinctive, loud and far-carrying "tweeng" or "twilleeng", which can change... read more
Semi-arid regions with annual rainfall less than 750 mm, from open savanna with trees to light... read more
Food and feeding
Primarily seeds, specializing on larger seeds of grasses and cultivated cereals; to lesser extent soft shoots and buds of plants, nectar... read more
In arid regions an opportunist breeder, depending on rains and associated flush of insects; in cultivated regions more regular pattern,... read more
Sedentary cultivated and urban areas; nomadic in more arid areas, settling to breed when conditions... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened. Common to locally abundant. Density near Bloemfontein (C South Africa) 152 pairs/100 ha. Has increased in cultivated districts, becoming a pest in... read more
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