Italian Sparrow
Italian sparrow male
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Inopinaves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Family: Passeridae
Genus: Passer
Species: P. italiae
Binomial name
Passer italiae
(Vieillot, 1817)

see template

Italian Sparrow, Passer italiae is a species of sparrow found in Croatia, France, Italy, San Marino, Switzerland.[1] Forms a superspecies with House Sparrow, P. domesticus and Spanish Sparrow, P. hispaniolensis, and the three sometimes considered conspecific.[1]

Click for other names
Other common names Cisalpine Sparrow
Scientific Fringilla italiae Vieillot, 1817

Fringilla cisalpina Temminck, 1820
Pyrgita cisalpina (Temminck, 1820) Gould, 1830
Passer domesticus cisalpinus (Temminck, 1820) Schegel, 1844

Italian sparrow female

Two females


It is about 14 cm (5.5 in) long and weighs 23–30 g (0.81–1.06 oz).[1] The tail is 5.3–6 centimetres (2.1–2.4 in), the tarsus 18.6–21 millimetres (0.73–0.83 in),[2][3] and wing lengths for males are 7.3–8.2 centimetres (2.9–3.2 in).[4]

Male is intermediate between P. domesticus and P. hispaniolensis.[4] has a chestnut crown, nape and hindneck, black lores, white cheeks and ear-coverts.[1] With warm-brown upperparts and streaked back.[1]

It looks like an intermediate between the House Sparrow and the Spanish Sparrow. The male has chestnut crow, nape, sides of the head and upperparts, white cheecks and light gray underparts. The female is brown, like the juvenile.

Similar species

-House Sparrow -Spanish Sparrow -Eurasian Tree-Sparrow


It is a social bir, often seen in small flocks.


It eats mainly seed, but feeds its chicks with insects. It also eats small invertebrates and berries.


Identical to House sparrow's: a repeated cheep cheep cheep or shilp shilp shilp.


It is considered an endemical Italian species but is also found in Crete and Corsica. It is often found in city parks, where it finds bushes for nesting and seeds to eat. The Italian sparrow also lives in farmlands, where it shares its habitat with the Eurasian Tree-Sparrow.


  1. ^ a b c d e Summers-Smith, D. (2016). Italian Sparrow (Passer italiae). 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 16 February 2016).
  2. ^ Backhouse, James (1890). A Handbook of European Birds for the Use of Field Naturalists and Collectors. London: Gurney and Jackson. 
  3. ^ Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M., editors (1994). Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palearctic. 8. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-854679-5. 
  4. ^ a b Summers-Smith, J.D. (1988) The Sparrows: a Study of the Genus Passer. T.&A.D. Poyser, Calton, UK.

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