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Petronia petronia

warning Data Missing

Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot, Lior Kislev, Yoav Perlman, Ezra Hadad, Barak Granit, Meidad Goren, Eyal Shochat

The Rock Sparrow is classified as Data Deficient (DD) as there is insufficient information to assess the threat category in Israel. In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002) it was classified as Least Concern (LC), and although it is relatively common today we have no knowledge of population trends.
DD Current Regional Assessment | LC Previous Regional Assessment | LC World Assessment

Habitats Rocky Terrain, Desert Cliffs, Mediterranean Cliffs
Presence In Israel Resident
Nesting In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Resident, Nomad
Zoography Zones Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian
Landscape Formations Mountainous, Cliffs, Rugged Terrain
Vegetation Formations Steppe, Herbaceous
Vegetation Densities Low
Nest Locations Cliffs, Buildings
Diet Types Herbivore
Foraging Grounds Ground
Body Sizes Small (up to 500g)
Threat Factors Plantations, Wildfires, Habitat Fragmentation, Aforestation

The Rock Sparrow is a relatively large sparrow species that inhabits rocky and stony habitats with sparse vegetation. Its plumage is a relatively uniform light brownish-grey. From up close, the head pattern includes a pale supercilium between the dark eye stripe and dark head streaking is visible. Wings are longer than the House Sparrow’s and its flight is very undulant. In flight, a series of white spots at the edge of the tail is revealed. Both sexes also have a yellow patch on their throat, which is sometimes hard to discern.

A relatively common resident species in suitable habitats, particularly east of the national watershed, e.g. mountains and cliffs such as Mt. Hermon, the Arbel Cliffs, eastern Judea and Samaria and south to Mt. Amasa, Arad and the Judean Desert Plateau.

  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot, Lior Kislev, Yoav Perlman, Ezra Hadad, Barak Granit, Meidad Goren, Eyal Shochat

Current Occupancy Map

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel in the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and nesting density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Occupancy difference 1990-2020

A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.

Relative abundance difference 1990-2020

A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.

Red number

IUCN category

() districts
% of protected sites

Other Species

Petronia xanthocollis
Passer domesticus
Passer hispaniolensis
Passer moabiticus