Old World Sparrows (Passeridae)

Dead Sea Sparrow (Passer moabiticus) - HBW 14, p. 796

French: Moineau de la mer Morte German: Moabsperling Spanish: Gorrión del Mar Muerto
Other common names: Scrub Sparrow; Afghan Scrub Sparrow, Yates's Sparrow (yatii)

Taxonomy: Passer moabiticus Tristram, 1864, Israel and Jordan.
Probably evolved from an early sparrow population that was trapped in an ice-free area in Tigris-Euphrates Valley during last glaciation of Pleistocene (25,000-15,000 years ago). E race yatii sometimes considered to be a separate species, primarily on grounds of its morphology and geographical separation. Birds in S Turkey, N Syria, Iraq and SW Iran sometimes treated as additional race, mesopotamicus (described from SW Iran), but character details appear indistinguishable from those of nominate and published mensural data overlap with those of latter. Two subspecies currently re.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Passer moabiticus Tristram, 1864, Israel and Jordan.
Probably evolved from an early sparrow population that was trapped in an ice-free area in Tigris-Euphrates Valley during last glaciation of Pleistocene (25,000-15,000 years ago). E race yatii sometimes considered to be a separate species, primarily on grounds of its morphology and geographical separation. Birds in S Turkey, N Syria, Iraq and SW Iran sometimes treated as additional race, mesopotamicus (described from SW Iran), but character details appear indistinguishable from those of nominate and published mensural data overlap with those of latter. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • moabiticus Tristram, 1864 - S Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, W Jordan, N Syria and C Iraq E to SW Iran.
  • yatii Sharpe, 1888 - Seistan region, on borders of E Iran and SW Afghanistan.