Fun Rock Sparrow Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Rock Sparrow Facts For Kids

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The Rock Sparrow, Petronia petronia (Linnaeus 1766), is a passerine bird belonging to the family Passeridae. They are the sole member of the genus Petronia and are known for their distinct patterns and color. This sweet little bird can be anywhere between 5-5.9 in (14-15 cm) in length. This chirpy bird has a streaked body with a dark brown crown on its head. It has pale eyebrows, a strong bill, and a yellow mark on its throat which differentiates it from others. The bill is yellow or pink. They have a quick and light flight, during which, the white spots on the tail can be seen. These birds can be spotted in hillsides, villages, farmlands, and rocky countryside. They have a high-pitched normal call that goes like 'vui vui' whereas the alarm call sounds harsh and loud. There are seven recognized subspecies of Petronia petronia. Its distribution range is from the Iberian Peninsula as well as the western part of North Africa throughout the southern part of Europe, Palearctic Siberia, and the Northern and Central region of China. The Asian birds of this species are migratory and travel down south. Their population is stable and increasing. The conservation status of this Passerine bird is Least Concern as per the IUCN's Red List. Keep on reading to know more about the Rock Sparrow, Petronia petronia, like its common names in different countries!

If you like reading these Rock Sparrow facts, then check out our exciting facts about the toco toucan and frigatebird.

Fun Rock Sparrow Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Seeds, berries, and invertebrates

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

4-5 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.9-1.3 oz (26-39 g)

How long are they?

5.5-5.9 in (14-15 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Dark brown, yellow, and light brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Predators And Urbanization

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Mountains, Stony And Arid Fields, And Buildings, Short Grass


Southern Europe, And Central Asia, Western North Africa, Iberian Peninsula









Rock Sparrow Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Rock Sparrow?

The Rock sparrow, Petronia petronia (Linnaeus 1766),  is a passerine bird. The birds of this species are omnivorous that eat seeds, berries, and invertebrates. This species has seven subspecies.

What class of animal does a Rock Sparrow belong to?

The Petronia petronia is a member of the class of Aves.

How many Rock Sparrows are there in the world?

The population size of Petronia petronia in the world is 20,000,000-49,999,999. Their distribution is widespread and the population is stable with the conservation status being ‘Least Concern’.

Where does a Rock Sparrow live?

The Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia) has a wide distribution and can be spotted in arid mountain areas from the Iberian Peninsula to western North Africa, as well as throughout southern Europe and central Asia. The Asian birds of this species travel down south during migration. This bird is a major resident of the western part of its distribution.

What is a Rock Sparrow's habitat?

The Petronia petronia is a Mediterranean species whose habitat consists of either short-grassed, rocky terrain, hilly locations, or buildings.

Who does Rock Sparrow live with?

Petronia petronia are solitary birds that live in colonies. They nest with their mates during the breeding season and flock together during migration.

How long does a Rock Sparrow live?

The lifespan of this bird, Petronia Petronia, is two to five years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding time for the birds of this species, Petronia petronia, begins in April. In mid-April, the display of the male flight becomes frequent. Both females and males have a Carotenoid-based trait that conveys social status and charm. The rock sparrow nest is built in stone walls, holes in homes, or rock crevices and they become a permanent resident of that location. During the breeding period, April and May, the females lay four to five eggs that are pale white, black, or brown. The eggs have a dark base or are pale with gray spots. The female bird incubates the eggs for 12-15 days. During incubation, she gets fed by the male bird. Both male and females raise their chicks upon hatching. The chicks mature at a slow speed and reside in the nest for 20-22 days minimum.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Rock sparrow species, Petronia petronia, is Least Concern as per the IUCN's Red List. This bird is not endangered, but urbanization is causing them to die, This species has a widespread distribution and seven subspecies.

Rock Sparrow Fun Facts

What do Rock Sparrows look like?

The birds of this species are beautifully striped, with white spots on their tails and streaked undersides. They have a dark brown crown on their heads. The bill is of cone shape of yellowish or pink color. During the flight, the white spots on the tail and the wings of this bird stand out. Their tail feathers as well as the eyebrows are pale. Adults have a yellow patch on their necks, which is not quite visible in certain poses. They are quite small in length but compared to other sparrows, they are large.

A Rock sparrow has a yellow patch on its throat which differentiates it from other sparrows.

How cute are they?

The birds of this species are quite cute because of their small size and earthy hues. They look adorable when sitting on a tree branch and chirping.

How do they communicate?

This species communicates using its calls and displays. Their calls are a nasal 'viu' that rises quickly in frequency before finishing one note softer on the final syllable. The call also sounds like 'chew-it' and is a high-pitched call. The alarm call is wheezy and sounds like a whistle. It is very harsh and loud.

How big is a Rock Sparrow?

The pale Rock sparrow, Petronia petronia, can range anywhere between 5.5-5.9 in (14-15 cm) in length. The rock sparrow wings are visible and look elegant when the bird is in flight. The wingspan ranges anywhere between 7.5-9.8 in (19-25 cm).

How fast can a Rock Sparrow move?

Their speed is unknown, but common sparrows can fly at 23.9 mph (38.5 kph) with a top speed of 31 mph (50 kph). If you spot a Rock sparrow flying, you'll notice it looks quite breezy as it is smoothly rising and falling. When they take flight, we can see the patch on their throats and see their patterned wings perfectly. These birds have a continuous and agile flight, better than the true sparrow.

How much does a Rock Sparrow weigh?

The Petronia petronia weighs anywhere in the range of 0.9-1.3 oz (26-39 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male bird can be referred to as cock and the female can be referred to as a hen.

What would you call a baby Rock Sparrow?

A baby rock sparrow can be called a chick.

What do they eat?

These birds rummage for food on the ground. Their diet includes seeds, invertebrates, and berries. The invertebrates are eaten in the spring season mainly. A frequent nest predator is the mountain weasel. Cooper's hawks, eastern screech owls, snowy owls, merlins, and other species are among them. Cats, raccoons, dogs, and several snakes are common predators of young or eggs.

Are they poisonous?

No, this bird is not poisonous. Although, this bird may carry bacterial diseases.

Would they make a good pet?

The Gorrión chillón (Spanish) is a songbird. It is illegal in the United States to keep songbirds as pets. 

Did you know...

The Petronia petronia was given its first name Fringilla petronia by Carl Linnaeus (1766).

This bird has different names in different languages across the world. In Spain, it is known as Gorrión chillón, in Italy, it is known as Passera lagia, in Germany, it is known as Steinsperling, and in the Netherlands, it is known as Rotsmus.

How high can they fly?

The Passera lagia has a quick flight. It can fly as high as 14763 ft (4500 m).

Are they predators?

The Passera lagia, only prey upon invertebrates. They do not prey upon any other type of animal.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our chinstrap penguin facts and southern cassowary fun facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Rock Sparrow coloring pages.

Written By
Rhea Nischal

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