House Sparrow

Passer domesticus




Old World Sparrows (Passeridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Blue or green with gray and brown spots.

Number of Eggs:

3 - 7

Incubation Days:

10 - 14

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On backs of highway signs, or billboards.

Nest Material:

Grass, straw, weeds, cotton, bits of debris, twigs, and feathers.





House Sparrow: Medium-sized stocky sparrow with black-streaked brown upperparts and pale gray underparts. Wings are brown with single white bar. Cheeks and crown are pale gray, contrasting with black throat, upper breast and bill. Legs are shorter and black bill is thicker than in native sparrows. Non-breeding male shows less black on throat and breast. Female lacks black and is pale gray-brown overall with buff eyebrows; bill is pale. Juvenile resembles female. An urban species introduced from Europe.

Range and Habitat

House Sparrow: Native to Britain, northern Scandinavia, and northern Siberia to northern Africa, Arabia, India, and Burma. Introduced and established worldwide, except in Antarctica; common resident throughout must of temperate North America. Preferred habitats include cities, towns, and agricultural areas.

Breeding and Nesting

House Sparrow: Breeding begins as early as January and continues through July. They are monogamous, and usually mate for life. Three to seven blue or green eggs spotted with gray and brown are laid in a loose nest made of grass, feathers, strips of paper, string and other debris, built in a man-made or natural cavity. Incubation ranges from 10 to 14 days and is carried out mostly by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

House Sparrow: Their diet includes mostly grains, both wild and domestic, weed seeds, fruits, insects and other arthropods during breeding season. They forage on the ground, in trees and on shrubs, in urban and rural areas. At times they perch on stems to reach seed heads; occasionally they catch insects by fly-catching and hover pouncing. At night, they may take insects attracted to lights.

Readily Eats

Cracked Corn, Suet, Millet, Sunflower


House Sparrow: Song is a twittering series of chirps. Call is a monotonous, repeated "cheep-cheep-cheep."

Similar Species

House Sparrow: Eurasian Tree Sparrow has a black spot on ear coverts and an entirely brown crown.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X