Kenya Sparrow

Passer rufocinctus

Kenya Rufous Sparrow, Passer rufocinctus, male, photo © by Michael Plagens.

Photographed at Naiberi River Camp, s.e. of Eldoret, Kenya. 15 October 2010.

This is a common seed eater in Kenya highland farms, orchards, savanna and urban settings. They often forage on the soil for seeds as well as scraps of food dropped by people. Insects form a major part of the diet, particularly during nesting. Although there are many kinds of small brownish birds this one can be reasonably recognized by the rufous and gray head, the black throat patch, and the pale eyes. The female lacks extensive rufous (reddish brown) color in the plumage, but retains the pale eyes.

Kenya Rufous Sparrow, Passer rufocinctus, female, photo © by Michael Plagens.

Mweiga, Nyeri, Kenya. Dec. 2015.

Passeridae -- Old World Sparrow Family


  • Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania by Zimmerman et al.
  • Birds of East Africa by Stevenson and Fanshawe

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 25 January 2011,
updated 30 April 2016.