Rock sparrow / Petronia petronia / دوري صخري

© All rights reserved by

In Palestine: locally common and summer vistor 

The rock sparrow lives in short grass stony areas, arid and rocky fields, and mountainous and archaeological sites. It is endemic to the Mediterranean region and breeds in southern Europe, from the Iberian Peninsula and western North Africa, through southern Europe and central Asia.

This bird is very shy during the breeding season, but outside of this period, the species is very social. When on the ground, it walks and does not jump, remaining somewhat shy. In addition, it is very shy and cautious and can go completely unobserved. It approaches humans, dwellings, and trials to find the herbs and seeds on which it feeds.

During the breeding season, it hunts mainly insects on the ground but can catch some prey on its wing. At the end of the nesting period, the young of the first brood congregate with the adults and the youngest birds, forming flocks that disperse in drier areas. The nest is built inside a rocky crevice, in a stone wall, or in a hole in a house or monument. They can be seen from the balconies of houses in mountain villages. Others nest in hollow logs, of variable heights, but usually up to two meters above the ground. They can also occupy abandoned rabbit burrows in earthen banks, well hidden among the vegetation.

The nest is a pile of hay, dry herbs, roots, wool, hair, and many feathers. When in an open or large hollow, the bird collects the nest material above, in order to form a kind of roof. The female lays 4-5 eggs in April and May. It is very similar to a house sparrow but larger, with a shorter spotted white tail, stronger beak, and larger legs. Faint stripes on the head can be seen, one from the eyes to the back of the neck, the other from the forehead, passing through the crown and to the back of the neck.