Family Old World Sparrows (Passeridae)

Least Concern

Sudan Golden Sparrow (Passer luteus)


French: Moineau doré German: Braunrücken-Goldsperling Spanish: Gorrión dorado

Fringilla luteus

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,

Dongola, northern Sudan


In the past often treated as conspecific with P. euchlorus, and both formerly placed in a separate genus, Auripasser. Monotypic.


Narrow band in Sahel zone from Mauritania and N Senegal E to Red Sea coast of Sudan and Eritrea; also S Western Sahara, but breeding unrecorded#R.

Descriptive notes

12–13 cm; 11–16 g. Male has golden-yellow head and underparts, often grey feather tips on ear-coverts; mantle, scapulars and back chestnut, rump yellowish-grey;... read more


Call of male at nest a disyllabic "chitta". Song a high-pitched chittering containing up to 20... read more


Arid sandy savannas with low density of trees and shrubs, and with seasonal ground cover of low... read more

Food and feeding

Primarily seeds of grasses and the smaller seeds of cultivated cereals such as millet; small amount of animal matter. Nestlings fed with... read more


Breeding opportunistic, coinciding with rains; one or two broods. Highly colonial; in dispersed colonies of up to 65,000 nests, with... read more


Highly nomadic, occurrence coinciding with ripening of seeds, but less so in areas where irrigation... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to locally abundant. Breeding range normally lies between 100 mm and 500 mm isohyets (rainfall contours), but in irrigated areas also below... read more

Recommended citation

Summers-Smith, D. (2019). Sudan Golden Sparrow (Passer luteus). 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 8 December 2019).