House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)


Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family:    Passeridae
Size:    Length: 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm)
Weight: 1 to 1.5 ounces (28 to 42.5 g)
Diet: Seeds, nuts, breadcrumbs, corn, fruit, worms and berries
Distribution: Worldwide, except for the poles
Young:  3 to 6 chicks, 2 to 4 times per year
Animal Predators:  Domestic cats, bobcats, raccoons, hawks and owls
IUCN Status: No special status
Terms: Young: Chick
Lifespan: Up to 10 years in the wild and 20+ years in captivity



·        The house sparrow, also known as the English sparrow, originated in Eurasia and North Africa.

·        In 1850, an Englishman brought sparrows with him from England and released them in New York.

·        The world house sparrow population is in excess of 500 million.



Males are more brightly coloured than females, with bright brown and black areas intermingled with grey. Females are similar, but with more grey and dull brown than white or black. Both males and females are stocky and have a conical-shaped bill. 



These are perhaps the best-known birds on the planet, and will live almost anywhere where you find people—cities, towns, or the country. They are quite friendly and will approach within a few feet of people if there is food or a bird feeder in the vicinity. They sometimes take over the nest of a larger bird, but prefer nests with a roof and will gladly make their home in a birdhouse provided by humans.


Feeding Habits

Sparrows like to eat seeds, nuts, breadcrumbs, corn, fruit, worms and berries. 



House sparrows are monogamous and form a pair bond for life. The male selects a nest site and begins construction between February and May. Sparrows build their nests from grass and line them with feathers, bits of cloth and paper. They often build their nests in tiny nooks on the outside of buildings, as well as in trees. They have two to four broods per year, using the same nest each time. Each brood consists of three to six white eggs with grey specks. Although the female does most of the incubating of the eggs, which lasts from 10 to 14 days, the male will occasionally take a turn. He also brings food to both the female and the young in the nest. The youngsters are able to fly when they reach two weeks of age, although they will still be fed by both parents and will not leave their parents for another few months.



These sociable birds are often found in flocks, happily chirping together while sharing seeds. They take baths, not just in water, but also in sand. Sparrows do not migrate, but stay where they are even through long, cold winters. The male’s territory, established during the breeding season, is maintained throughout the year and aggressively defended. House sparrows’ flight is direct with continuous flapping and no periods of gliding. 



House sparrows are abundant and are not a conservation concern. In fact, some consider house sparrows to be overly abundant, as they compete with native species for food and nesting sites. 



House Sparrow Wildlife Fact File, IM Pub, US