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GALLERIES > BIRDS > PASSEROIDEA > PASSERIDAE > CAPE VERDE SPARROW [Passer iagoensis]


Cape Verde Sparrow Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Iago Sparrow or Cape Verde Sparrow (Passer iagoensis) is a member of the Old World sparrow family Passeridae. It is a small sparrow, 13cm in length with a wingspan of 17.5 to 20cm. The male has a black crown, throat and eyestripe, a grey nape and rufous sides to the head. The cheeks and underparts are whitish while the upperparts are reddish-brown with black streaks. The female is grey-brown above with dark streaks and whitish below. It is very similar to the female House Sparrow but has a more obvious pale stripe over the eye.

It is endemic to the Cape Verde Islands where it is common on most islands but absent from Fogo and scarce on Santa Luzia, Branco and Sal. It can be found in a variety of habitats but is most common in lava plains, desert and dry scrub. It enters urban areas on islands where there are no Spanish Sparrows to compete with it.

It breeds in loose colonies, beginning in August and September with the onset of the humid season. The nest is made of grass, lined with hair and feathers and usually built in a hole in a cliff or wall. The female lays three to five eggs. The young birds are fed on insects. Adult Iago Sparrows feed mainly on seeds and leaves.

The Iago Sparrow is sometimes considered to be a subspecies of the Rufous Sparrow of mainland Africa.





                                     



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