|Male in |
|Female in |
The Cape sparrow (Passer melanurus), or mossie, is a
Cape sparrows primarily
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