Monday, 14 May 2018

Italian Sparrow (Passer italiae)

OTHER NAMES: Cisalpine Sparrow
Latin Etymology: Passer ("sparrow") italiae ("Italian")
Adult Male Italian Sparrow (Passer italiae) at Catania, Sicily, Italy - May 2018

Local Name (Italian): Passera d'Italia ("Italian Sparrow")
Weight: 30g
Length: 14-16cm
Wingspan: 19-25-cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Vulnerable

The Italian Sparrow is a prime example of where taxonomy gets messy and it's only recently any sort of consensus seems to have settled down.  The general opinion now is that it is a species formed of a stable hybrid between House and Spanish sparrows that has become it's own species.  As such they are intermediate between those two species.  To further confuse matters, the birds on Sicily are highly variable, with many looking far more like Spanish Sparrows than the typical mainland birds.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Passeridae
Genus: Passer
SUBSPECIES: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
ITALY - An abundant resident
 - SICILY 2018 TRIP -  Very common throughout.

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum Opus, BirdGuides, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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