House Sparrow

Scientific name: Passer domesticus

Did you know: House Sparrows, often seen flitting around our homes, have experienced a significant decline in the UK, dropping by 71% between 1977 and 2008.

What Do House Sparrows Look Like? (how to identify them)

House Sparrows are small, robust birds, typically about 14-15 cm in length. They display a full chest, a large, rounded head, and a stout, conical bill ideal for seed-eating. Their plumage varies in shades of grey and brown. 

The male House Sparrow has a standout appearance with a dark grey crown, chestnut flanks, and a black bib, while the female and juveniles are more subdued in colour, primarily pale brown and grey.

Differences Between Male And Female House Sparrows

Male House Sparrows are more vibrantly coloured than females, with bolder head markings and a reddish back. Females lack the black markings and grey crown of males, instead exhibiting brown upperparts with darker streaks and pale grey-brown underparts.

What Do House Sparrows Eat?

House Sparrows have a varied diet that includes seeds, grains, and scraps. They are opportunistic feeders, often foraging in urban areas and scavenging for human-provided foods. In rural areas, they consume seeds of grains and flowering plants, as well as insects and their larvae.

Where Do House Sparrows Live? (inc. migration info)

These birds are closely associated with human habitation and can be found in both urban and rural settings across the UK. They tend to avoid dense forests and very dry deserts. 

House Sparrows are not migratory in the traditional sense but may move locally depending on food availability and environmental conditions.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of House Sparrows)

House Sparrows are known for their short and frequent chirping calls, often heard in bustling flocks. These vocalisations serve as contact calls within flocks and are also used by males to attract mates and establish nesting territory.

Fun House Sparrow Facts (kid-friendly)

  • House Sparrows often nest in nooks and crannies of buildings and other structures.
  • They can live and even breed indoors, especially in urban environments.
  • House Sparrows are not native to the UK but have adapted well to the environment.
  • They have a wingspan of 21-25.5 cm, making them quite agile in flight.
  • The male House Sparrow’s black bib can vary in size and is thought to signal social status.

House Sparrow Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile

Facts About The House Sparrow

Diet: Seeds and scraps.
Bird Family: Old World sparrows
Length: 14-15cm
Wingspan: 21-25.5cm
Weight: 24-38g
Scientific Name: Passer domesticus

The House Sparrow Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December