Family Old World Sparrows (Passeridae)

Least Concern

Yellow-spotted Bush-sparrow (Gymnoris pyrgita)


French: Moineau à point jaune German: Sahelsteinsperling Spanish: Gorrión moteado
Other common names: Yellow-spotted Petronia

Xanthodina pyrgita


, 1862,

Bogos Mountains, slopes of the Barca Valley, Eritrea


Has in the past been treated as conspecific with G. xanthocollis. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. p. pallida Neumann, 1908 – S Mauritania and W Senegal E, very patchily, to C Sudan.
  • G. p. pyrgita (Heuglin, 1862) – Eritrea, Ethiopia (except W) and Somalia S to SE South Sudan, NE Uganda, Kenya and N Tanzania.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16 cm; 21–28·5 g. Nominate race is unstreaked ash-grey to ashy brown above, with indistinct narrow light buff supercilium, white ring around eye, cheek... read more


    Calls include shrill "tyit", "tyeet" and "chillip", and lower-pitched... read more


    Dry savanna, acacia (Acacia) steppe and open woodland, gardens and cultivated land with... read more

    Food and feeding

    Berries of toothbrush tree (Salvadora persica), seeds; also insects, including beetles (Coleoptera). Forages on ground, but... read more


    Mainly Jun–Aug in W of range, May in Somalia and Mar–Apr in Kenya and Tanzania, coinciding with rains. Solitary. Nest a pad of... read more


    Nomadic outside breeding season.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common; apparently very local in much of range.

    Recommended citation

    Summers-Smith, D. (2020). Yellow-spotted Bush-sparrow (Gymnoris pyrgita). 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 26 February 2020).