Breeding male © Markus Lilje eBird S65203930 Macaulay Library ML 206129091
Female © Nik Borrow
Nonbreeding male © Pedro Moreira
Female © Tyler Joyner
Nonbreeding male and female © Tyler Joyner

Somali Sparrow Passer castanopterus

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The equivalent of House Sparrow in dry parts of the Horn of Africa. Males have a chestnut crown and nape, a black bib, and a variable pale yellowish wash on the cheeks and underparts. Females are very dull, but usually also show a yellow wash below. Found in dry habitats including dry thorn savanna, thorn scrub, desert, and coastal cliffs, often around human habitation. Visually similar to House Sparrow, but separated by the yellow wash, and the male is further separated by the chestnut rather than gray crown. Also similar to rufous sparrows, but the male is separated from those species by his chestnut crown, and the female by her much drabber coloration. The call is a “cheep” very similar to that of House Sparrow.