House sparrow

From Bhamwiki
Jump to: navigation, search
House sparrow

The House sparrow (Passer domestics) is a common European songbird, now naturalized in Alabama. It was one of the first animals to receive a scientific name in 1758 by biological classification pioneer Carl Linnaeus.

Physical characteristics

House sparrows have distinct sexual dimorphism, where the male is much more brightly colored than the female. The male has a black bill and bib, white cheeks, gray crown, brown nape, and black and brown striped wings. The female is an over-all buff brown color with black and brown striped wings. The house sparrow is between 5.9-6.7" long with a wingspan of around 8" and a weight of 1 oz.

Natural History

Though common throughout the entirety of the continental United States and most of South of America, the house sparrow is not a native species, but actually originates in Europe. It was first introduced in New York in 1851, and after a second introduction the 1870s to San Francisco and Salt Lake City, gained a strong foothold in the Americas. It is not found in Canada or Alaska.

The house sparrow is an aggressive and adaptable bird that has little fear of humans or other birds. Often they are derided for taking over habitat and food of native species. House sparrows eat grains, seeds, and discarded human food, and insects. They tend to nest in man made structures and often reuse their nests year after year, and will lay 1-8 eggs that will hatch in about 2 weeks.

Conservation Status

The house sparrow is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a species of "least concern", meaning that populations are steady with no immediate threat.


  • Wilson, Jim, and Atkins Anselm. Common Birds of Birmingham. 2nd. Decatur, Georgia: Hexagon Publishers, 2002. 1. Print.
  • "House Sparrow, Life History" [1] All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • "House Sparrow" House sparrow on Wikipedia