The Cape sparrow (Passer melanurus), or mossie, is a bird of the sparrow family Passeridae found in southern Africa. A medium-sized sparrow at 14–16 centimetres (5.5–6.3 in), it has distinctive plumage, including large pale head stripes in both sexes. Its plumage is mostly grey, brown, and chestnut, and the male has some bold black and white markings on its head and neck. The species inhabits semi-arid savannah, cultivated areas, and towns, and ranges from the central coast of Angola to eastern South Africa and Swaziland. Three subspecies are distinguished in different parts of its range.
Cape sparrows primarily eat seeds, and also eat soft plant parts and insects. They typically breed in colonies, and when not breeding they gather in large nomadic flocks to move around in search of food. The nest can be constructed in a tree, a bush, a cavity, or a disused nest of another species. A typical clutch contains three or four eggs, and both parents are involved in breeding, from nest building to feeding young. The Cape sparrow is common in most of its range and coexists successfully in urban habitats with two of its relatives, the native southern grey-headed sparrow and the house sparrow, an introduced species. The Cape sparrow's population has not been recorded decreasing significantly, and it is not seriously threatened by human activities, so it is assessed as a species of least concern by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
|Male in Roodepoort, South Africa|
|Female in Sossusvlei, Namibia|
(Statius Müller, 1776)
For a sparrow, the Cape sparrow is strikingly coloured and distinctive, and is medium-sized at 14–16 cm (5.5–6.3 in) long. Adults range in weight from 17 to 38 grams (0.60–1.34 oz). The breeding male has a mostly black head, but with a broad white mark on each side, curling from behind the eye to the throat. On the throat a narrow black band connects the black bib of the breast to black of the head. The underparts are greyish, darker on the flanks. The back of the male's neck is dark grey, and its back and shoulders are bright chestnut. The male has a white and a black wing bar below its shoulders, and flight feathers and tail streaked grey and black.
The female is plumaged like the male, but is duller and has a grey head with a different pattern from the male, though it bears a hint of the pale head markings of the male. The juvenile is like the female, but young males have black markings on the head from an early age.
The Cape sparrow's calls are chirps similar to those of the house sparrow, but much more musical and mellow. The basic call is used in flight and while perching socially and transcribed as chissip, chirrup, chreep, or chirrichup. A loud, distinctive call used by the male to advertise nest ownership can be written as tweeng or twileeng; this call can be extended into a jerky and repetitive song, chip cheerup, chip cheerup.
The Cape sparrow was first described by Philipp Ludwig Statius Müller in 1776, as Loxia melanura. Some other earlier biologists described the Cape sparrow in Loxia or Fringilla, but it has otherwise been regarded as a member of the genus Passer along with the house sparrow and other sparrows of the Old World. Within this genus, morphological comparisons and geography were insufficient to elucidate to which species the Cape sparrow is most closely related. Mitochondrial DNA phylogenies have strongly suggested that the Cape sparrow is among the most basal members of its genus, having diverged from the rest of the genus during the late Miocene, over 5 million years ago. It is genetically closest to the southern grey-headed sparrow and the other grey-headed sparrows of Africa and the saxaul sparrow of Central Asia, so these species may be sibling species of the Cape sparrow or similarly early offshoots.
The Cape sparrow has three subspecies. The nominate subspecies Passer melanurus melanurus is found in western South Africa, east to the western part of Free State. The subspecies vicinus, which is sometimes included in subspecies melanurus, occurs from Free State east to Eastern Cape and Lesotho. The subspecies damarensis ranges from the extreme southern coastal areas of Angola into Namibia, Botswana and southern Zimbabwe, as well as northern South Africa.
The Cape sparrow inhabits southern Africa south of Angola and as far east as Swaziland. The northernmost point in its range is Benguela in Angola, and it is found in the coastal and central parts of Namibia, except for the driest parts of the Namib Desert. It occurs in all of South Africa except the farthest east, in southern Botswana and spottily in the Kalahari Basin of central Botswana. In the east, it breeds at a small number of localities in southeastern Zimbabwe. It has been recorded as a vagrant in Harare, in central Zimbabwe. The eastern limit of its range is reached in the wet forests of Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal, extending into the hills of western Swaziland.
The original habitats of this species were the semi-arid savanna, thornveld, and light woodland typical of southern Africa. When settled agriculture arrived in its range about a thousand years ago, it adapted to cultivated land, and since the arrival of settlement, it has moved into towns. The Cape sparrow prefers habitats with an annual rainfall of less than 75 centimetres (30 in), though in desert areas it is usually found near watercourses or watering holes. While it occurs in urban centres, it prefers parks, gardens, and other open spaces, and has a low reproductive success in more built-up areas.
In towns, the Cape sparrow competes with both the native southern grey-headed sparrow and house sparrow, which was introduced to southern Africa in the 19th century. Since it is more established around humans in its range than either, it successfully competes with both species, though they may exclude it from nesting in holes. A survey by birdwatchers completed in 2000 found the Cape sparrow increasing in abundance in some suburban areas of South Africa (the northern Johannesburg area, and Pietermaritzburg) and decreasing in others (the southern Cape Town area). The house sparrow was reported decreasing in several urban areas, as it has in parts of Europe, declines which are attributed to factors including the increasing density of garden plantings and increases in predation.
The Cape sparrow is social, lives in flocks, and usually breeds in colonies. Away from settled areas it spends much of the year wandering nomadically, in flocks of up to 200 birds. In cultivated and built up areas, smaller flocks form where food is provided for livestock or birds. In such places, it associates with other seed-eating birds, such as the house sparrow, the Cape weaver, and weavers of the genus Euplectes. Birds from urban areas form large flocks seasonally and fly out to the nearby countryside to feed on ripening grain, returning at night to roost.
Cape sparrows prefer to roost in nests, and while wandering outside of the breeding season, birds in uncultivated areas roost socially in old nests or dense bushes. In farmland and towns, Cape sparrows build special nests for roosting, lined more poorly than breeding nests but incorporating a greater quantity of insulating material.
An unusual social behaviour has been described from Cape sparrows in Johannesburg. Groups of 20–30 birds separate from larger flocks and stand close together on the ground with tails on the ground and heads held high. These groups sometimes move in an unconcerted fashion by hopping slowly. Often birds will fly up and hover 30–60 centimetres (12–24 in) above the ground. During these gatherings birds are silent and are never antagonistic. This behaviour's significance is unknown, and it is not reported in any other sparrow species.
The Cape sparrow mostly eats seeds, foraging in trees and on the ground. The larger seeds of cereals, wild grasses, and other small plants are preferred, with wheat and khakiweed (Alternanthera caracasana) being favourites. Buds and soft fruits are also taken, causing considerable damage to agriculture. Insects are eaten, and nestlings seem to be fed exclusively on caterpillars. The Cape sparrow eats the soft shoots of plants, and probes in aloes for nectar, but these are not important sources of food.
The Cape sparrow usually breeds in loose colonies of 50–100 birds. 10 to 20 percent of the breeding birds in each population nest away from colonies, for unknown reasons. The Cape sparrow is usually monogamous, but some records of a male and two females nesting and raising young in one nest have been made in Western Cape. It seems pairs are formed in the non-breeding flocks, but it is not known how pairs are formed, or if the pair bond is for life. Once ready to breed, newly mated pairs look for a suitable nesting site, spending mornings searching, and returning to their flock in the afternoon. Once a site has been selected, both birds begin to build their nest. Other pairs seeking a nest site join them, and in this manner a colony forms quickly.
The courtship display is poorly recorded. Ornithologist J. Denis Summers-Smith observed a display in which the male hopped beside the female in a tree, drooping its wings and ruffling the chestnut-coloured feathers on its back. Groups of two or more males have been observed chasing a female. In the house sparrow a similar display exists, in which a female who is not ready to copulate is chased by her mate, who is joined by other males. It is not known if the display in the Cape sparrow has a similar significance. When ready to mate, the female crouches in solicitation and is mounted by the male. Instances of hybridisation with the house sparrow, the southern grey-headed sparrow, and captives or escapees of the Sudan golden sparrow have been reported.
The Cape sparrow utilises a variety of nesting sites. Bushes and trees, especially acacias, seem to be preferred, and many nests may be built in a single tree. Holes and other covered sites are chosen less frequently. Nests have been recorded from the eaves of buildings, on creepers on walls, in holes in earth banks, and in holes in haystacks. Sometimes the Cape sparrow nests in the disused nests of other birds, such as weavers and swallows. Pairs that nest away from colonies usually choose low bushes or utility poles as nesting sites. Nests are placed at least a metre above the ground, and can be only a few centimetres apart in colonies. Only the nest and its very close vicinity are defended as a territory. Males defend their territory with threatening postures, and sometimes by fighting with bills on the ground.
Nests built in the open are large and untidy domed structures, built of dry grass, twigs, and other plant materials. Any leaves or thorns present in a tree may be worked into the nest. In cavity nests, the hole is filled with a shapeless mass of grass with a cup of soft material containing the eggs on the inside. When the disused domed nests of weavers are used, they are given a soft lining. The nest entrance is on the side, and is sometimes extended into a short funnel. The male and the female construct the nest together, keeping close when finding material and weaving it together. The inside linings of Cape sparrow nests can incorporate large portions of aromatic leaves such as wolbossie (Helichrysum pumilio), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), and camphor (Cinnamomum). This consistent use of aromatics suggests that they have some purpose such as protection against parasites.
Clutches contain between two and six eggs, typically three or four. Variation in clutch size depends on the amount of food available for young birds. Presumably owing to the greater availability of food, clutches are larger during the peak of the breeding season, and in more southern latitudes of the Cape sparrow's range. Both birds of a pair incubate the eggs during the day, switching every ten or fifteen minutes. At night, only the female incubates the eggs, while the male roosts outside or in the nest. In pairs breeding outside of colonies, birds leave the nest to make room for their mates upon hearing their mates approaching. Among colonial pairs, the incubating bird waits until its partner arrives in the nest, to prevent other birds from entering the nest. Incubation seems to begin before the clutch is complete, and lasts 12–24 days.
The young of a clutch hatch over two or three days and are brooded until their feathers develop and eyes open five days after hatching. The young are fed on insects until they fledge 16 to 25, typically 17, days after hatching. After this they are fed for one or two weeks. While feeding nestlings, the female is dominant over the male. Cape sparrows are among the main hosts of brood parasitism by the dideric cuckoo in southern Africa, and sometimes parasitise nests of their own species.
The Cape sparrow is an abundant and familiar bird of human habitations and cultivation in most of southern Africa. It is not believed to be threatened, and accordingly is listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN's Red List. It can be an agricultural pest, especially of grain cultivation and vineyards.
When vineyards in the south-west Cape started letting weeds grow between vines to conserve moisture, around 1956, the Cape sparrow moved in. Cape sparrows quickly exhausted the seeds and started eating the grapes. The Cape sparrow is now a serious pest in vineyards. Vineyards are not an optimal habitat, and some populations have had such a low reproductive success that they could not be maintained without immigration.
The Cape sparrow was featured on the lowest-denomination South African coin, from the farthing (¼-cent) in 1923 to the cent that ceased to be minted in 2002, with designs based on an original by George Kruger Gray. This was said to be because women interned at a concentration camp in Bethulie during the Boer War adopted a biblical quotation (from Matthew 10) as their motto: "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father." It has also been featured on stamps from Lesotho and the Central African Republic.
Etosha National Park is a national park in northwestern Namibia. The park was proclaimed a game reserve on March 22, 1907 in Ordinance 88 by the Governor of German South West Africa, Dr. Friedrich von Lindequist. It was designated as Wildschutzgebiet Nr. 2 which means Game Reserve Number 2, in numerical order after West Caprivi (Game Reserve No. 1) and preceding Namib Game Reserve (No. 3). In 1958, Game Reserve No. 2 became Etosha Game Park and was elevated to status of National Park in 1967 by an act of parliament of the Republic of South Africa which administered South-West Africa during that time.Etosha National Park spans an area of 22,270 square kilometres (8,600 sq mi) and gets its name from the large Etosha pan which is almost entirely within the park. The Etosha pan (4,760 square kilometres (1,840 sq mi)) covers 23% of the area of the total area of the Etosha National Park. The park is home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds and reptiles, including several threatened and endangered species such as the black rhinoceros.
The park is located in the Kunene region and shares boundaries with the regions of Oshana, Oshikoto and Otjozondjupa.Faerie Glen Nature Reserve
Faerie Glen Nature Reserve is a nature reserve at the western limit of the Bronberg in the east of Pretoria, South Africa. It formerly formed a part of the farm Hartbeespoort 304 which belonged to H. W. Struben. On old aerial photographs it is apparent that the flood plain was utilized for crop fields, while the remainder was used for cattle grazing. The reserve constitutes the western part of the Bronberg conservation area, which was declared in 1980. Its highest point is Renosterkop (1,468 m) in the northern part of the reserve.Groenkloof Nature Reserve
The Groenkloof Nature Reserve, located adjacent to the Fountains Valley at the southern entrance to Pretoria, was the first game sanctuary in Africa. The reserve of 600 ha is managed by the Department of Nature Conservation. The National Heritage Monument is located within the reserve. It is flanked by Christina de Wit Avenue and Nelson Mandela Drive, that separate it from the Voortrekker Monument and Klapperkop Nature Reserves. In aggregate these reserves conserve some 1,400 ha of bankenveld vegetation which is threatened in Gauteng. The reserve is open to day visitors from 5:30 to 19:00 in summer, and 7:00 to 18:00 in winter.Helichrysum pumilio
Helichrysum pumilio is a species of flowering plant in the Asteraceae family, known colloquially as the wolbossie. It is found in southern Africa. An aromatic, it is used by birds such as the Cape sparrow in their nests, possibly as protection against parasites.House sparrow
The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a bird of the sparrow family Passeridae, found in most parts of the world. It is a small bird which has a typical length of 16 cm (6.3 in) and a mass of 24–39.5 g (0.85–1.39 oz). Females and young birds are coloured pale brown and grey, and males have brighter black, white, and brown markings. One of about 25 species in the genus Passer, the house sparrow is native to most of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, and much of Asia. Its intentional or accidental introductions to many regions, including parts of Australasia, Africa, and the Americas, make it the most widely distributed wild bird.
The house sparrow is strongly associated with human habitation, and can live in urban or rural settings. Though found in widely varied habitats and climates, it typically avoids extensive woodlands, grasslands, and deserts away from human development. It feeds mostly on the seeds of grains and weeds, but it is an opportunistic eater and commonly eats insects and many other foods. Its predators include domestic cats, hawks, owls, and many other predatory birds and mammals.
Because of its numbers, ubiquity, and association with human settlements, the house sparrow is culturally prominent. It is extensively, and usually unsuccessfully, persecuted as an agricultural pest. It has also often been kept as a pet, as well as being a food item and a symbol of lust, sexual potency, commonness, and vulgarity. Though it is widespread and abundant, its numbers have declined in some areas. The animal's conservation status is listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List.List of birds of Eswatini
This is a list of the bird species recorded in Eswatini. The avifauna of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) include a total of 507 species, of which four have been introduced by humans and 52 are rare or accidental. Three species listed are extirpated in Eswatini and are not included in the species count. Eleven species are globally threatened.
This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Eswatini.
The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.
(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Eswatini
(I) Introduced - a species introduced to Eswatini as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
(Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in Eswatini although populations exist elsewhereList of birds of Gauteng
An alphabetic list of common names of birds occurring in Gauteng, South Africa. Gauteng includes both the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria, and numerous satellite municipalities spreading over a total of some 18 000 square km and an enormous diversity of habitat, and ranging in elevation from 1300 to 1900 metres. Gauteng lies at the junction of three major biomes – grassland to the south, arid savanna to the north-west, and moist savanna to the north-east and east – this location largely accounts for its great diversity of species.
The growing occupation of the area by man since the discovery of gold in the late 1800s has led to inevitable habitat loss and degradation, with the consequent displacement and decline of many species. The establishing of parks and suburban gardens, on the other hand, has created a multitude of niches and this, together with progressively milder highveld winters, has attracted a wealth of bushveld species from north of the Magaliesberg, and from other warmer areas. Tall office blocks and high-rise apartments have provided nesting opportunities for cliff-dwellers, while the collective, man-made forest is regarded as the world's largest. Some arrivals in Johannesburg gardens within recent times have been the hadeda ibis, green wood hoopoe, Cape starling, red-winged starling, grey go-away-bird, African grey hornbill, pin-tailed whydah, African green pigeon and southern boubou. Southern Africa's bird list numbers more than 900, with some 350 being found in Gauteng. Of the Southern Africa birds, 134 are endemic or near-endemic, while the centre of endemism is in the far west in the Karoo and Namib Desert. More species breed in Southern Africa than in Canada and the continental United States combined.List of birds of Lesotho
This is a list of the bird species recorded in Lesotho. The avifauna of Lesotho include a total of 358 species, of which 60 are rare or accidental and four have been introduced by humans. One species has been extirpated. Unless otherwise noted, the list is that of iGoTerra.This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) are those of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition.The following tags have been used to highlight several categories of occurrence
(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Lesotho
(I) Introduced - a species introduced to Lesotho as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
(Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in Lesotho although populations exist elsewhereList of birds of Namibia
This is a list of the bird species recorded in Namibia. The avifauna of Namibia include a total of 676 confirmed species, of which one is endemic, 15 are near endemic, four have been introduced by humans, and 56 are vagrants. An additional 35 species are unconfirmed and are not included in the total above.
This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition. Unless otherwise noted, the list is that of the Namibia Bird Records Committee (NBRC). Differences in common and scientific names between the Clements taxonomy and that of the NBRC are frequent but are seldom noted here.
The following tags have been used to highlight several categories of occurrence.
(V) Vagrant - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Namibia
(E) Endemic - a species endemic to Namibia
(NE) Near endemic - a species with "90% or more of its population in Namibia" per the NBRC
(I) Introduced - a species introduced to Namibia as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions, and which has a self-sustaining population
(U) Unconfirmed - a "species reported to occur in Namibia but for which there is as yet no unequivocal evidence" per the NBRCList of endemic birds of southern Africa
The following is a list of bird species endemic or near-endemic to southern Africa (South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and southern Mozambique).
Grey-winged francolin, Scleroptila africanus
Orange River francolin, Scleroptila levaillantoides
Red-billed spurfowl (red-billed francolin), Pternistes adspersus
Cape spurfowl (Cape francolin), Pternistes capensis
Natal spurfowl (Natal francolin), Pternistes natalensis
South African shelduck, Tadorna cana
Cape shoveler, Anas smithii
Hottentot buttonquail, Turnix hottentotta
Knysna woodpecker, Campethera notata
Ground woodpecker, Geocolaptes olivaceus
Acacia pied barbet, Tricholaema leucomelas
Monteiro's hornbill (Damara hornbill), Tockus monteiri
Southern yellow-billed hornbill, Tockus leucomelas
Bradfield's hornbill, Tockus bradfieldi
White-backed mousebird, Colius colius
Cape parrot, Poicephalus robustus
Ruppell's parrot, Poicephalus rueppellii
Rosy-faced lovebird, Agapornis roseicollis
Bradfield's swift, Apus bradfieldi
Knysna turaco, Tauraco corythaix
Ludwig's bustard, Neotis ludwigii
Red-crested korhaan, Eupodotis ruficrista
Southern black korhaan (black bustard), Afrotis afra (Eupodotis afra)
Northern black korhaan (white-quilled bustard), Afrotis afraoides (Eupodotis afraoides)
Ruppell's korhaan, Eupodotis rueppellii
Karoo korhaan, Eupodotis vigorsii
Blue korhaan, Eupodotis caerulescens
Blue crane, Anthropoides paradiseus
Namaqua sandgrouse, Pterocles namaqua
Double-banded sandgrouse, Pterocles bicinctus
Burchell's sandgrouse, Pterocles burchelli
Burchell's courser, Cursorius rufus
Hartlaub's gull, Larus hartlaubii
Cape vulture, Gyps coprotheres
Black harrier, Circus maurus
Southern pale chanting goshawk, Melierax canorus
Forest buzzard, Buteo trizonatus
Jackal buzzard, Buteo rufofuscus
Crowned cormorant, Phalacrocorax coronatus
Bank cormorant, Phalacrocorax neglectus
Southern bald ibis, Geronticus calvus
African penguin, Spheniscus demersus
Southern tchagra, Tchagra tchagra
Southern boubou, Laniarius ferrugineus
Crimson-breasted shrike, Laniarius atrococcineus
Bokmakierie, Telophorus zeylonus
Olive bushshrike, Telophorus olivaceus
White-tailed shrike, Lanioturdus torquatus
Cape batis, Batis capensis
Pririt batis, Batis pririt
Southern white-crowned shrike, Eurocephalus anguitimens
Cape rockjumper, Chaetops frenatus
Drakensberg rockjumper, Chaetops aurantius
Cape penduline tit, Anthoscopus minutus
Carp's tit, Parus carpi
Ashy tit, Parus cinerascens
Grey tit, Parus afer
African red-eyed bulbul, Pycnonotus nigricans
Cape bulbul, Pycnonotus capensis
Fairy flycatcher, Stenostira scita
Rockrunner, Achaetops pycnopygius
Cape grassbird, Sphenoeacus afer
Victorin's warbler, Bradypterus victorini
Karoo eremomela, Eremomela gregalis
Knysna warbler, Bradypterus sylvaticus
Barratt's warbler, Bradypterus barratti
Black-faced babbler, Turdoides melanops
Southern pied babbler, Turdoides bicolor
Bush blackcap, Lioptilus nigricapillus
Layard's tit-babbler, Parisoma layardi
Chestnut-vented tit-babbler, Parisoma subcaeruleum
Cape white-eye, Zosterops virens
Orange River white-eye, Zosterops pallidus
Grey-backed cisticola, Cisticola subruficapillus
Rufous-winged cisticola, Cisticola galactotes
Cloud cisticola, Cisticola textrix
Black-chested prinia, Prinia flavicans
Karoo prinia, Prinia maculosa
Drakensberg prinia, Prinia hypoxantha
Namaqua warbler, Phragmacia substriata
Robert's warbler, Oreophilais robertsi
Rufous-eared warbler, Malcorus pectoralis
Rudd's apalis, Apalis ruddi
Chirinda apalis, Apalis chirindensis
Barred wren-warbler, Calamonastes fasciolatus
Cinnamon-breasted warbler, Euryptila subcinnamomea
Monotonous lark, Mirafra passerina
Melodious lark, Mirafra cheniana
Cape clapper lark, Mirafra apiata
Eastern clapper lark, Mirafra fasciolata
Sabota lark (incl. Bradfield's), Mirafra sabota
Fawn-coloured lark, Calendulauda africanoides
Rudd's lark, Heteromirafra ruddi
Red lark, Certhilauda burra
Karoo lark, Certhilauda albescens
Barlow's lark, Certhilauda barlowi
Dune lark, Certhilauda erythrochlamys
Cape long-billed lark, Certhilauda curvirostris
Agulhas long-billed lark, Certhilauda brevirostris
Eastern long-billed lark, Certhilauda semitorquata
Karoo long-billed lark, Certhilauda subcoronata
Short-clawed lark, Certhilauda chuana
Gray's lark, Ammomanes grayi
Spike-heeled lark, Chersomanes albofasciata
Black-eared sparrow-lark, Eremopterix australis
Grey-backed sparrow-lark, Eremopterix verticalis
Stark's lark, Eremalauda starki
Pink-billed lark, Spizocorys conirostris
Botha's lark, Spizocorys fringillaris
Sclater's lark, Spizocorys sclateri
Large-billed lark, Galerida magnirostris
Cape rock thrush, Monticola rupestris
Sentinel rock thrush, Monticola explorator
Short-toed rock thrush Monticola brevipes
Karoo thrush Turdus smithi
Chat flycatcher, Bradornis infuscatus
Marico flycatcher, Bradornis mariquensis
Fiscal flycatcher, Sigelus silens
White-throated robin-chat, Cossypha humeralis
Chorister robin-chat, Cossypha dichroa
Brown scrub robin, Cercotrichas signata
Kalahari scrub robin, Cercotrichas paena
Karoo scrub robin, Cercotrichas coryphaeus
Herero chat, Namibornis herero
Buff-streaked chat, Oenanthe bifasciata
Mountain wheatear, Oenanthe monticola
Sickle-winged chat, Cercomela sinuata
Karoo chat, Cercomela schlegelii
Tractrac chat, Cercomela tractrac
Anteating chat, Myrmecocichla formicivora
Boulder chat, Pinarornis plumosus
Pale-winged starling, Onychognathus nabouroup
Burchell's starling, Lamprotornis australis
Pied starling, Spreo bicolor
Gurney's sugarbird, Promerops gurneyi
Cape sugarbird, Promerops cafer
Orange-breasted sunbird, Anthobaphes violacea
Southern double-collared sunbird, Cinnyris chalybea
Greater double-collared sunbird, Cinnyris afra
Neergaard's sunbird, Cinnyris neergaardi
Dusky sunbird, Cinnyris fusca
Great sparrow, Passer motitensis
Cape sparrow, Passer melanurus
Cape longclaw, Macronyx capensis
Yellow-breasted pipit, Anthus chloris
African rock pipit, Anthus crenatus
Scaly-feathered finch, Sporopipes squamifrons
Sociable weaver, Philetairus socius
Cape weaver, Ploceus capensis
Pink-throated twinspot, Hypargos margaritatus
Swee waxbill, Estrilda melanotis
Red-headed finch, Amadina erythrocephala
Shaft-tailed whydah, Vidua regia
Forest canary, Crithagra scotops
Lemon-breasted canary, Crithagra citrinipectus
Yellow canary, Crithagra flaviventris
White-throated canary, Crithagra albogularis
Protea canary, Crithagra leucoptera
Cape siskin, Crithagra totta
Drakensberg siskin, Crithagra symonsi
Cape canary, Serinus canicollis
Black-headed canary, Serinus alario
Lark-like bunting, Emberiza impetuani
Cape bunting, Emberiza capensisMilnerton Racecourse Nature Reserve
The Milnerton Racecourse Nature Reserve is a lowland conservation area located in the City of Cape Town, South Africa.
It forms part of the greater Table Bay Nature Reserve, proclaimed in June 2012.Mossie
Mossie may refer to:
Nickname of the De Havilland Mosquito, a Royal Air Force Second World War aircraft
Cape sparrow, a bird
The Mossie, a rap group
Mossie Dowling (born 1946), Irish former hurler
Maurice Enright (died 1920), Irish-American gangster
Maurice Mossie Finn (1931-2009), Irish hurler
Mossie Lyons, Irish Gaelic football half-back
Mossie Smith, British actress
Mossie Walsh (fl. 1980), Irish former hurlerPasser
Passer is a genus of sparrows, also known as the true sparrows. The genus includes the house sparrow and the Eurasian tree sparrow, some of the most common birds in the world. They are small birds with thick bills for eating seeds, and are mostly coloured grey or brown. Native to the Old World, some species have been introduced throughout the world.Passer predomesticus
Passer predomesticus is a fossil passerine bird in the sparrow family Passeridae. First described in 1962, it is known from two premaxillary (upper jaw) bones found in a Middle Pleistocene layer of the Oumm-Qatafa cave in Palestine. The premaxillaries resemble those of the house and Spanish sparrows, but differ in having a deep groove instead of a crest on the lower side. Israeli palaeontologist Eitan Tchernov, who described the species, and others have considered it to be close to the ancestor of the house and Spanish sparrows, but molecular data point to an earlier origin of modern sparrow species. Occurring in a climate Tchernov described as similar to but rainier than that in Palestine today, it was considered by Tchernov as a "wild" ancestor of the modern sparrows which have a commensal association with humans, although its presence in Oumm-Qatafa cave may indicate that it was associated with humans.Sexual dimorphism
Sexual dimorphism is the condition where the two sexes of the same species exhibit different characteristics beyond the differences in their sexual organs. The condition occurs in many animals and some plants. Differences may include secondary sex characteristics, size, weight, color, markings, and may also include behavioral and cognitive differences. These differences may be subtle or exaggerated, and may be subjected to sexual selection. The opposite of dimorphism is monomorphism.Sibley-Monroe checklist 17
The Sibley-Monroe checklist was a landmark document in the study of birds. It drew on extensive DNA-DNA hybridisation studies to reassess the relationships between modern birds.Sparrow
Sparrows are a family of small passerine birds. They are also known as true sparrows, or Old World sparrows, names also used for a particular genus of the family, Passer. They are distinct from both the American sparrows, in the family Passerellidae, and from a few other birds sharing their name, such as the Java sparrow of the family Estrildidae. Many species nest on buildings and the house and Eurasian tree sparrows, in particular, inhabit cities in large numbers, so sparrows are among the most familiar of all wild birds. They are primarily seed-eaters, though they also consume small insects. Some species scavenge for food around cities and, like gulls or rock doves will happily eat virtually anything in small quantities.Tankwa Karoo National Park
Tankwa Karoo National Park is a national park in South Africa. The park lies about 70 km due west of Sutherland near the border of the Northern Cape and Western Cape, in one of the most arid regions of South Africa, with areas receiving less than 100 mm of average annual precipitation, moisture-bearing clouds from the Atlantic Ocean being largely stopped by the Cederberg mountains. Other low areas receive little more, as the Roodewerf station (co-ordinates: S32°14’27.9” E20°05’44.5”) with 180 mm of mean annual rainfall. In the hottest areas of the park, the mean maximum temperature in January is 38.9 °C, and in July the mean minimum temperature ranges from about 5 to 7 °C. Before this Park's proclamation, the only protected area of Succulent Karoo was the 2 square kilometre patch of the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve. Succulent Karoo has, together with the Cape Floral Kingdom, been declared a Biodiversity Hotspot by Conservation International.
Tankwa's area has been increased from an initial 260 to 1436 km2. It is bounded on the east by the Roggeveld Mountains, on the west by the Cederberg, to the north by the Kouebokkeveld Mountains and on the south by the scattered foothills of the Koedoesberge and Klein Roggeveld Mountains, and the Tankwa River. The park's headquarters are located at Roodewerf (GPS co-ordinates: S 32° 14’ 27.9” E 20° 5’ 44.5”). Distances from the nearest towns to the park's headquarters are: Ceres (180 km), Sutherland (120 km), Calvinia (110 km) and Middelpos (52 km).In 1998 Conrad Strauss sold 280 km2 of sheep farm to the South African National Parks. The park has started the reintroduction of game that used to be found naturally in the area. Research was done beforehand to ensure that introduced animals would survive on the overgrazed veld. The vegetation in the park falls within the Succulent Karoo biome and has been described as very sparse shrubland and dwarf shrubland. Several unique succulent genera occur here, such as Tanquana, Braunsia and Didymaotus. The park is home to a large variety of birds (188 species – 2015 figure), such as the black-headed canary, Ludwig's bustard, and the black-eared sparrow-lark. Peak birding season is August to October.Ts'ehlanyane National Park
Ts'ehlanyane National Park is a National Park in Lesotho. It is located in the Maloti Mountains in Butha-Buthe District, and is part of the larger Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area. This Lesotho northern park protects a high-altitude, 2,600-metre (8,500 ft) patch of rugged wilderness, including one of Lesotho’s only stands of indigenous forest with a number of rare undergrowth plants that are unique to this woodland habitat.
The name "Ts'ehlanyane" is the local common name for the berg bamboo (Thamnocalamus tessellatus), from which the river and park take their name. It is fitting that the park should bear the name of this Drakensberg endemic plant, as it may be the most important refuge for this plant in the entire Maloti-Drakensberg mountain range.