what is the state bird of italy

Italy has a wide variety of bird species, from the beautiful blue feathered European roller to the majestic Bonelli’s eagle. The nation also has common birds like pigeons, wood ducks, and doves, as well as shorebirds like sandpipers and gulls. Some countries choose their national bird based on strength, while others choose a bird that represents everyday life. What is the national bird of Italy? Are there some birds that are only found in Italy? Read on to learn all about the national bird of Italy!

The national bird of Italy is the Italian sparrow. The Italian sparrow is a common bird that makes its home in a variety of small towns and average-sized cities. They may also live in large urban areas like Tuscany, Naples, and Rome. They are small passerines, or perching birds, that can be seen hopping about the sidewalk or perching in park trees.

Italian sparrows are plump little birds with light brown/gray feathers on their back and white bellies. The pattern on their head is what distinguishes them from other sparrows. They have a dark brown crown, black mask around the eyes, white cheeks, and a speckled “bib” under their beak. Females resemble the female house sparrow, without the black markings on the face and bib. Males are a little larger than females, growing to between 5 ½ – 6 inches.

Their diet consists of seeds, small insects, cracked corn, wheat, and cereal grains. Their sharp beaks help them crack open seeds and grain. Commercial birdseed that often includes sunflower seeds and dried corn is also one of this sparrow’s favorite foods. Like other urban birds, it is not uncommon for them to feed on discarded food. A chunk of olive oil-soaked Italian bread would make a fine dinner!

There is some debate over the origin of the Italian sparrow. Most of the research shows that it was originally a hybrid of the house sparrow and Spanish sparrow. But it can now hold its own as a separate species (Passer italiae). The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is one of the most common birds in the world. They originated in Europe but have been introduced to North America, South America, Africa, and parts of Asia. The Spanish sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis) looks very similar to the house sparrow. However, it’s larger and has a longer beak.

The Italian flag has three equal vertical stripes of green, white, and red, and does not include the Italian sparrow. The national flag is celebrated every Flag Day which is January 7 and is called Tricolour Day.

No, Italian sparrows are not considered endangered, but they are listed as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN. The last evaluation was conducted in August of 2018 where conservationists concluded that the numbers of Italian sparrows was decreasing. Interestingly, in 2016, the Italian sparrow was listed as a species of “Least Concern.” Now conservationists are questioning why there has been such a decline. Their report states, “The causes behind the species’ decline are uncertain.” Other species are being affected by pesticides used for agriculture but that doesn’t explain why urban populations are decreasing. More research is needed to distinguish major threats so Italians can continue to enjoy their lively national bird.

The national animal of Italy is the Italian wolf. The Italian wolf, also called the Apennine wolf, is a subspecies of the gray wolf that lives on the Italian Peninsula. According to Roman mythology, the city of Rome was founded by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus. While there are variations on the myth, most include the twins being sent down the Tiber River in a basket. When the basket gets tangled up along the shore, a she-wolf finds them and takes them in. The twins are finally found by a shepherd and his wife, who adopt the boys and raise them.

Other animals in Italy include the Etruscan shrew, the smallest mammal, and the North Atlantic right whale, which is endangered. The Etruscan shrew weighs .063 ounces, while the North Atlantic right whale can weigh up to 140,000 pounds!

One of the most dangerous animals in Italy is the Marsican brown bear, or Apennine brown bear. These are another endangered animal in the country. The alpine ibex is a large mountain goat-like animal with long spiraled horns that extend backwards. It can be found in the mountains of Italy. The Corsican hare can be found on the mainland, as well as on Sicily. The Eurasian lynx was extinct from Europe for years but was reintroduced and is now in some areas of Italy. It has a black-tipped tail and tufts of black hair coming off its ears.

Taxonomy edit

According to a 2011 DNA analysis published in Molecular Ecology by Jo Hermansen, Glenn-Peter Sætre, and several other Norwegian scientists, the Italian sparrow is descended from a hybrid of house and Spanish sparrows. It has mitochondrial DNA from both parent species. Furthermore, in regions where both species are found, it is currently breeding alongside Spanish sparrows without engaging in cross-breeding. [11][18] Despite hybridizing with the house sparrow in a sparsely populated Alps contact zone, the contact zone is marked by relatively abrupt changes in male plumage specific to the species, indicating that these two taxa may also have developed partial reproductive isolation based on plumage. [18] According to Hermansen and colleagues, it needs to be recognized as a distinct species since it is a genetically distinct group that is reproductively isolated from the parental species. [11][18].

Behaviour edit Eggs A fresco at Pompeii depicting an Italian sparrow or a relative

The behavior of the house sparrow and the Italian sparrow is comparable in many aspects. This gregarious bird primarily consumes seeds and insects for sustenance. [5][35].

Although it is mostly sedentary, it does travel occasionally during the breeding season. Though primarily local, these travels might reach southern France. Likewise, the house sparrow occasionally makes an appearance in northern Italy during the winter. [38][39].

The Italian sparrow has been observed to hybridize with the Eurasian tree sparrow in addition to intergrading with the Spanish and house sparrows. [40] The house sparrow’s and the Italian sparrow’s eggs do not appear to be different from one another. [41][42] Broods typically have five eggs, but they can have as many as eight. 2. [43].

Description edit

The plumage of the Italian sparrow is brown and grey, and it is a small, plump bird. There are subtle differences in length and plumage pattern between the sexes. [2] The male’s head is patterned after the Spanish sparrow’s, with white cheeks, a nape and sides of the head, and a chestnut crown. The male sparrow’s underparts are pale grey, devoid of the Spanish sparrow’s black streaking, and its upperparts are a brilliant chestnut color. [3] The male has a black patch, sometimes referred to as a bib or badge, on its chest and throat. Like a large portion of the male plumage, this patch is dull when it is first non-breeding plumage and becomes brighter with wear and preening. [4] The female is almost the same as the female house sparrow, but it is not the same as the female Spanish sparrow in that its underparts do not have black streaks. [3] Albinism is occasionally recorded. [5].

At 14–16 centimeters (5 cm), the Italian sparrow is comparable in size to the house sparrow. 5–6. 3 in) in length. [6] The tail is 5. 3–6 centimetres (2. 1–2. 4 in), the tarsus 18. 6–21 millimetres (0. 73–0. 83 in),[6][7] and wing lengths for males are 7. 3–8. 2 centimetres (2. 9–3. 2 in). [3] Seasonally, the weight of Italian sparrows varies from 30 grams (1 1 oz) in the winter to 26 grams (0. 92 oz) in the summer. [8].

The vocalizations of the house sparrow and the Spanish sparrow are comparable to those of the Italian sparrow. In natural settings, its vocalizations are more audible than the house sparrow’s. The male announces the ownership of the nest with a chreep call akin to the Spanish sparrow’s, and he uses a faster variation of this call during courtship displays. Throughout southern Italy, the song patterns of male sparrows gradually transition into those of Spanish sparrows; however, where the Italian and house sparrows overlap, the two birds have a similar call. [9][10].


What bird symbolizes Italy?

The Italian national bird is the Italian sparrow (Passer Italiae). The national animal is the Apennine wolf or Italian wolf (canis lupus italicus).

What is the most common bird in Italy?

The Italian sparrow is among the most common birds in Italian cities, but other species, including the European goldfinch, are more common.

What is the meaning of Italian sparrow?

The Italian sparrow (Passer italiae), also known as the cisalpine sparrow, is a passerine bird of the sparrow family Passeridae, found in Italy and other parts of the Mediterranean region.

Are there Eagles in Italy?

In Italy, the Golden Eagle occupies alpine and subalpine habitats, as well as hills and sometimes lowland areas, in the Alps, Apennines and major islands.