Who would have thought that identifying Sparrows could be so difficult? But biology, as with life, is a messy business.
Here’s a Sparrow in Italy. An Italian Sparrow you might think?
Not so fast. Italian Sparrows live in the north of Italy. Spanish Sparrows live in Spain and North Africa as well as parts of the Middle East. House Sparrows live in northern Europe. So which type are these then?
I’m in the far south of Italy so the Sparrow map I have says that these are likely to be hybrids between Italian and Spanish Sparrows. Passer italiae x hispaniolensis.
As this cheeky male looks down and cheeps at me, I realise I’m out of my depth.