419a Identification of House/Spanish Sparrows

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1 IDENTIFICATION OF HOUSE SPARROW AND SPANISH SPARROW IN WINTER. ADULT MALE In winter, males can be determinated by the following characters: House : - Bill slightly shorter and narrower-based. - Cutting edge of upper mandible less curved. - Supercilium shorter before the eye. - Greyish crown. - Grey bases of crown feathers. - With unstreaked flanks. Spanish : - Bill slightly longer and broader-based. - Cutting edge of upper mandible more curved. - Supercilium longer before the eye. - Brownish crown. - Brown bases of crown feathers. - With streaked flanks. W i n t e r. Male. Pattern of bill and supercilium: top House Winter. Male. crown: left House ; right Spanish House Winter. Male (19-XI) W i n t e r. Male. Pattern of bases fo c r o w n feathers: top Spanish Winter. Male (05-XI) Page 1

2 W i n t e r. M a l e. flank: top ADULT FEMALE Identification characters given in this paragraph have been obtained from the following literature: S. Cramp (ed.), N. van Duivendijk and A. Harris et al. CAUTION: no always is possible to separate both species using only plumage pattern since overlap between them is really high and it is very difficult to find birds fullfilling all the characters, as shown in pictures. House : - Bill slightly shorter and narrower-based. - Cutting edge of upper mandible less curved. - Gape point ending slightly before eye. - Squared forehead. - Diffuse supercilium only behind the eye, greybrowned coloured. - Ear-coverts grey-sand coloured, paler and with great contrast with supercilium. - Shaft streaks on crown feathers pale and uniform. - Breast without faint darkish streaks and dots. - Flanks without diffuse streaked. - Mantle sides with darker and worsepronounced tramlines. - Uppertail coverts and rump feathers usually without faint darkish shaft streaks. - Undertail coverts with narrow greyish centres often almost restricted to shaft area. - Tertials with more brown-reddish edges. - Lower scapulars with largely blackish-brown inner webs contrasting with buff-sandy outers. - Tips of median wing coverts no very white. Spanish : - Bill slightly longer and broader-based. - Cutting edge of upper mandible more curved. - Gape point roughly level with fore edge of eye. -Steeper-sloping forehead. - Broader supercilium both before and behind the eye, pale cream coloured. - Ear-coverts darker grey, contrasting less with supercilium. - Shaft streaks on crown feathers dark. - Breast usually with faint darkish streaks and dots (CAUTION: not always). - Flanks with diffuse streaked (CAUTION: not always). - Mantle sides with paler and better-pronounced tramlines. - Uppertail coverts and rump feathers usually with faint darkish shaft streaks. - Undertail coverts with diffuse greyish centres. - Tertials with pale edges merging slightly more with less blackish centres. -Lower scapulars with diffuse olive-brown inner webs and buffy outer webs. - Tips of median wing coverts very white. House Female (17-IV) Spanish Female (01-V) Page 2

3 b i l l, supercilium, gape, earcoverts and forehead: top c r o w n feathers: top breast: top Female. chin: left House ; right Spanish Female. crown: left House ; right Spanish flank: top Page 3

4 Female. upperparts: left House ; right Spanish Female. tertials: left House ; right Spanish w i n g coverts: top Female. uppertail coverts and rump feathers: left House ; right Spanish House Female: pattern of wing. Female. undertail coverts: left House ; right Spanish Page 4

5 Spanish Female: pattern of wing JUVENILES The revised literature indicates that juveniles of both species are indistinguishable. From the photographs provided only seen as a differentiating character, in both sexes, the presence of a whiter and larger supercilium in Spanish than in House M a l e. b i l l, supercilium, gape, earcoverts and forehead: top JUVENILE MALE M a l e. breast: top House Juvenile. Male (19-VI) Spanish Juvenile. Male (28-VI) Page 5

6 Spanish Juvenile. Male: pattern of wing JUVENILE FEMALE Juvenile. Male. upperparts: left House ; right Spanish M a l e. w i n g coverts: top House Juvenile. Female: pattern of wing (28-VI) House Juvenile. Male: pattern of wing Spanish Juvenile. Female: pattern of wing (28-VI) Page 6

7 b i l l, supercilium, gape, earcoverts and forehead: top Juvenile. Female. upperparts: left House ; right Spanish breast: top w i n g coverts: top House Juvenile. Female: pattern of wing Page 7

8 Spanish Juvenile. Female: pattern of wing Page 8

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