Bird Watch: Sind Sparrow, a common bird that calls both Sindh and Chandigarh its home

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The Sind Sparrow, which has the scientific name Passer pyrrhonotus, is a native bird from Pakistan’s Sindh province and a common resident bird found throughout the year in Chandigarh and its surrounding areas.

Similar in appearance to the House Sparrow, the Sind Sparrow is 13 cm in size, 2 cm shorter than the former. The size of its eggs also differs; those of the Sind Sparrow are smaller than those of the House Sparrow. The Sind Sparrow is also known as the Sind jungle sparrow.

The identification marks for males are a grey crown and nape, rufous on the side of the head curving as a crescent behind ear coverts, and a smaller bib of black restricted to the throat. The females are of a smaller size with a white supercilium and greyer cast to ear coverts. Riverine forests and trees near water are the ideal habitats of the Sind Sparrow.

Initially, the Sind Sparrow had restricted distribution confined to the Indus Valley in Pakistan and the lower parts of the tributaries of the Indus in the Punjab region. Over time, the distribution of this bird extends to the Kabul River, the Jhelum near Nurpur Noon and extends east into India, to the Delhi area.

This bird feeds on the seeds of grasses and other plants such as Polygonum plebeium. It also hunts caterpillars, especially to feed nestlings.

According to experts, amateur birders should keep their size in mind to differentiate between the House Sparrow and Sind Sparrow. In the Inter-State Chandigarh Region (ISCR), apart from the House Sparrow (15 cm) and Sind Sparrow (13 cm), two other sparrow species – Russet Sparrow (14.5 cm) and Spanish Sparrow (13 cm) – are also found.



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