Family Old World Sparrows (Passeridae)

Least Concern

Cape Verde Sparrow (Passer iagoensis)


French: Moineau du Cap-Vert German: Kapverdensperling Spanish: Gorrión de Cabo Verde
Other common names: Iago Sparrow

Pyrgita Iagoensis


, 1838,

São Tiago, Cape Verde Islands


See P. motitensis (below). Monotypic.


Cape Verde Is (all main islands except Fogo), off W Africa.

Descriptive notes

12·5–13 cm. Small compact sparrow. Male breeding has forehead, crown and lores blackish, supraloral line whitish, narrow black line behind eye, nape to mantle... read more


Call of male a twangy "cheesp", "chew-weep" or "chew-leep", used to... read more


Typically in dry lava plains to coastal cliffs, but extending also into cultivated land and built-... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly seeds of small plants, including grasses and cultivated cereals; also domestic scraps in urban areas. Nestlings fed with... read more


Season Sept–Mar, associated with rains. In loose colonies. Nest domed, with entrance at side, constructed from thin plant stems,... read more


Mainly sedentary; presumably some dispersal that replenishes populations on smaller islands, which... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Cape Verde Islands EBA. Common and widespread in its limited range. Sporadic on some of the smaller islands, e.g... read more

Recommended citation

Summers-Smith, D. & de Juana, E. (2019). Cape Verde Sparrow (Passer iagoensis). 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).