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(Petronia petronia) a bird of the family Ploceidae of the order Passeriformes, similar in size and plumage to the female house sparrow. Its distinctive features are white spots on the tail feathers and a yellow spot on the throat. It is widespread in southern Europe, Asia, and North Africa. In the USSR rock sparrows are found in the Caucasus, the lower Volga region, Kazakhstan, Middle Asia, and southern Siberia. It inhabits mountains, ravines, steppes, or rocky hills and may sometimes be found near settlements. It nests on cliffs, among piles of rocks, and similar places. The clutch contains four to six speckled eggs. The rock sparrow feeds on seeds and insects, migrating from mountains to valleys in the winter.