Old World Sparrows (Passeridae)

Pale Rock-sparrow (Carpospiza brachydactyla) - HBW 14, p. 809

French: Moineau pâle German: Fahlsperling Spanish: Gorrión Pálido
Other common names: Pale Rockfinch/Petronia, Hill Sparrow

Taxonomy: Petronia brachydactyla Bonaparte, 1850, "Abyssinia, Arabia" = Kunfuda, western Arabia.
Genus often subsumed into Petronia. This species, however, differs strikingly from other rock-sparrows, and considered by some authorities to be a cardueline finch (Fringillidae); similar to latter in breeding details (nest, eggs, appearance of nestling), in having only partial juvenile moult and in song, but differs in details of cranium; affinity to sparrows supported by structure of horny palate and digestive tract. Further study required. Monotypic.

Distribution: Breeds SE Turkey, N Middle East, erratically in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, and Armenia E to Iran, Turkmenistan and W Afghanistan.