House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

Male House Sparrow feeding Juvenile.

Description

The house sparrow is a noisy social bird. The males are brown with a black bib and white cheeks and the females and juveniles are a mottled brown with no bib.

The black bib is linked to social status, males with larger bibs are more successful breeders and therefore preferred by females.

The sparrows chunky beak is good for cracking open seeds.

Prevalence

The sparrow population has been declining in the UK (down 71% from 1977 to 2008). Their numbers are now increasing in Scotland and Wales more recently, but they are still in decline in England.

5.3 million pairs are resident in the UK, where they live near people in cities, towns and gardens. Sparrows are absent from the highlands.

Breeding

Sparrows nest in cracks and holes often in colonies, they build an untidy nest and may include paper, straw or even string in its construction.

3-5 eggs are laid, they are white/greyish green in colour with brown specks and 3 broods may be raised from April until August.

Sparrows will use nesting boxes with a 35 mm diameter hole. The provision of several boxes together will create an environment for them to be able to nest together in a colony.

Lifespan

3 years, with the highest recorded being 12 years.

Diet

Sparrows seek out grains, buds, nuts. They are also wonderful opportunists, predominantly living in close proximity to humans and feeding on the resultant scraps.

Frequently seen at bird tables and feeders sparrows enjoy red millet, wheat, mealworms and seed cakes.

Support your house sparrows……..