A resident, passing migrant and winter visitor to Cyprus and the Akamas. It’s fairly common in rural areas and in open areas with stands of trees or bushes, less common than the House Sparrow in houses, villages etc. but can be present in some areas and mainly in sites with farms etc.
It’s very social, lives in groups, from several individuals to large hosts (mainly in winter). Hosts often feed on the ground, or on cereal crops where they consume many insects and fly away when they sense danger. It nests on trees and in dense bushes, in colonies, with nests made of twigs and hay. It feeds mainly on seeds and insects.
Its size is like that of the House Sparrow, with its coloring very similar as well, especially the female. The male has a dark brown back with black streaks (in the breeding season the black is much more intense on the back), a clear reddish-brown head (crown and nape) with black around the eye and faint white supercilium, large white cheeks, the black patch on throat continues in streaked spots towards belly (in breeding season has intense and extensive black on breast and streaks towards belly).
The female is paler in coloration, very similar to the House Sparrow. They are very difficult to distinguish precisely, at a close distance you can see faint grey streaks on the white-grey underside.