Family Old World Sparrows (Passeridae)

Least Concern

Kenya Sparrow (Passer rufocinctus)


French: Moineau roux German: Keniasperling Spanish: Gorrión keniata
Other common names: Kenya Rufous Sparrow

Passer rufocinctus

G. A. Fischer and Reichenow

, 1884,

Lake Naivasha, Kenya


See P. motitensis (which see). Treated as conspecific with P. cordofanicus and P. shelleyi by some recent authors#R#R. Monotypic.


Rift Valley highlands from C Kenya S to N Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

13–14 cm; 25–32 g. Male has crown to upper mantle, ear-coverts and cheek blue-grey, lores black, chin and throat black, broad chestnut crescentic band extending... read more


Call a loud "chreep", "chuweep" or upward-inflected "cher-weep",... read more


Dry acacia (Acacia) savanna, open wooded country, cultivated land, villages and towns; at... read more

Food and feeding

Grain, small seeds, domestic scraps; insects fed to unfledged young. Feeds more on ground than does P. motitensis. Forages in... read more


Breeds in all months, mainly Apr–Jun and Nov–Dec (coinciding with, respectively, long rains and short rains); possibly two... read more


Resident; some dispersal to lower elevations in non-breeding season.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally common throughout much of its range.

Recommended citation

Summers-Smith, D. (2019). Kenya Sparrow (Passer rufocinctus). 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 12 December 2019).