Family Old World Sparrows (Passeridae)

Least Concern

Plain-backed Sparrow (Passer flaveolus)


French: Moineau flavéole German: Gelbbauchsperling Spanish: Gorrión liso
Other common names: Pegu Sparrow

Passer flaveolus


, 1845,

Arakan, Myanmar




Myanmar (except N & SW), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, C & S Vietnam and N Peninsular Malaysia.

Descriptive notes

13·5–15 cm; 17–23 g. Male breeding has crown to upper mantle greenish grey, forehead and sides of forecrown yellowish, lores black, crescent-shaped... read more


Main call a loud, clear disyllabic "chirrup", second syllable rather slurred, used by... read more


Cultivated areas with trees, plantations and small copses, scrub, and woodland edges; also occurs... read more

Food and feeding

Predominantly vegetable matter, including seeds of grasses, cultivated cereals and small herbs. Nestlings fed with insects, mainly aphids (... read more


Season mainly Jan–Jul, but breeding recorded in most months of year; probably two broods. In loose colonies, usually of 5–10... read more


Nomadic outside breeding season, wandering to gather at ripening rice paddies.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common. Formerly more restricted in range; spread S along Malay Peninsula as forest clearance in middle of 20th century created open country... read more

Recommended citation

Summers-Smith, D. (2020). Plain-backed Sparrow (Passer flaveolus). 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 25 January 2020).