House Sparrows, Passer domesticus



Summer is still a month away but the baby house sparrows in Brooklyn, New York, are already adult-sized. This mother and youngster were having a snack of found bread crumbs on May 20, 2012.

Visit my blog, the Urban Wildlife Guide.

Read more about house sparrows and other urban birds in my book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife.

Julie Feinstein

Julie Feinstein

I am a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History, an author, and a photographer. I live in New York City. I recently published my first popular science book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife, an illustrated collection of natural history essays about common animals. I update my blog, Urban Wildlife Guide, every Sunday.

Julie Feinstein

Julie Feinstein

I am a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History, an author, and a photographer. I live in New York City. I recently published my first popular science book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife, an illustrated collection of natural history essays about common animals. I update my blog, Urban Wildlife Guide, every Sunday.

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Vijay Panchal

I Love Sparrow 2 Much……

Glenn Bartley

Fishlkmich, your opinions on house sparrows are completely unbalanced and outrageous.

In the natural world it is normal that species spread from one country or continent to another. Mankind doesn’t have the right to try to reverse such trends or to eliminate species. In fact house sparrows are actually threatened and declining in some countries.

The house sparrow is a species, which I actually like. As you say, that may be also my thing as well as Scott’s.

It would be interesting to hear the opinions of other readers, and to see whether anybody has sympathy for your outlandish views!

Mark Dietrich

 No Ken.  It is not “natural” for humans to introduce creatures from other countries.  Cane toads in Australia is a good example and there are many more.  While we may not be able to reverse it, we can protect our native birds.  Every state in America agrees with me.  Every ornithology lab at every university agrees with me and every major birding organization in the U.S. agrees with me.  Since I maintain breeding boxes for native birds, I see the birds that are killed by HOSP every year.  I will continue to kill them, as allowed by law, to protect… Read more »

Glenn Bartley

 My point is more related to natural processes, whereby species may spread geographically of their own accord without human intervention. e.g. Ring-Necked Doves, Little Egrets or Great Egrets which have spread from southern Europe through northern Europe and are now resident in the UK and Ireland. It is absolutely not correct that these species, which have “invaded” of their own accord, should also be routed out and destroyed. The same goes for the humble House Sparrow, which probably flew across “the Pond” of its own accord without human intervention. Evolution is also a natural process, and it’s unthinkable that mankind… Read more »

Mark Dietrich

 Ken, History cannot be rewritten.  They did not “fly across the pond”.  They were brought here (along with starlings, thanks) because some idiots from Europe thought that every bird that Shakespeare wrote about should be in America.  Do your homework. What is unthinkable is that we do not attempt to correct the mistakes that we have made.  Should we forget about toxic waste dumps and removing Kudzu because we already screwed up big time? Evolution is a natural process.  When man intervenes, he upsets nature’s balance.  That is what has happened and we should try to fix the mistakes we… Read more »

Mark Dietrich

No scott.  They use their beaks.  They bash the skulls in, or completely decapitate their victims.  I prevent bird breeding by killing them.  Some people don’t mind living with cockroaches.  If you like house sparrows, that’s your thing.  Perhaps you should read a bit on the subject.  You are in a very small minority.

Steven Scott

Nice post.  Previous note is really funny!  House sparrows killing other birds?  The little guys must use guns.  And…..how do you prevent bird breeding?  Is that part of the contentious Obamacare???  I like sparrows….and the little “feathered city rats” are very cheery in all that urban concrete.  Humans, after all, are the worst of all invasive species!!!

Mark Dietrich

The house sparrow is an introduced, invasive species that kills our native birds.  I have a bluebird trail and house sparrows kill bluebirds and/or tree swallows on my trail every year.  Every state in the nation promotes the lethal control of this menace to our native birds.  Every major birding organization and ornithology lab agrees!  Please do not allow them to breed on your property, for the sake of our native birds.