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24

House Sparrow

(Passer domesticus)
German name(s): "Haussperling", "Hausspatz"
Size: 14-16 cm; wing span: 21-22.5 cm
Weight: 24-40 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See House Sparrow at Wikipedia .

NB: The name of the family of sparrows, "Passer", is used in the definition of passerine vs. non-passerine birds.

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "domesticus"

ADULT

MALE

NON-BREEDING

Frontal view of a male House Sparrow in transitional plumage; note the emerging black bib (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Eltville, Rheingau, Germany, April 2016]

Lateral view of a male House Sparrow in non-breeding plumage; note the absence of an extensive black bib (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiezka, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

Lateral view of a male House Sparrow in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiezka, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

Lateral view of a male House Sparrow in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiezka, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

Near-dorsal view of a male House Sparrow in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiezka, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

Dorsal view of a male House Sparrow in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiezka, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

FEMALE

Near-frontal view of a female House Sparrow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Bergen, Norway, May 2016]

Lateral view of a female House Sparrow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Malinowo, Masovia, Poland, September 2016]

Lateral view of a female House Sparrow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Malinowo, Masovia, Poland, September 2016]

Near-dorsal view of a female House Sparrow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Bergen, Norway, May 2016]

Pair of House Sparrows in non-breeding plumage, male on the left, female on the right (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiezka, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

House Sparrows in non-breeding plumage, male on the left, females on the right (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiezka, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

Near-dorsal view of a female House Sparrow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Malinowo, Masovia, Poland, September 2016]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of a juvenile House Sparrow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Malinowo, Masovia, Poland, September 2016]

Juvenile House Sparrow, back, being fed by a female, front (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Malinowo, Masovia, Poland, September 2016]

Lateral view of a fledgling House Sparrow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Malinowo, Masovia, Poland, September 2016]

Race "hufufae"

House Sparrows, race "hufufae", were photographed by us in Oman.

Breeding information

Breeding season: Apr - Sep Eggs: 4 - 5 Incubation period: 10 - 14 days Fledging age: 10 - 19 days

The breeding season depends a lot on geographical latitude and climatic conditions. The period listed in the table above applies to central Europe. Also incubation and fledging times depend on external circumstances. Note that House Sparrows are one of only a few bird species that can reach breeding age in the same season they hatched.

Nest building: Male (& female) Incubation: Female (& male) Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

Type: (Domed) basket, hollow Material: Twigs, roots, grass, leaves, feathers Height above ground: 2 - 10(?) m

Male House Sparrow in breeding plumage at the entrance to its nest hollow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Bergen, Norway, May 2016]

This male House Sparrow, which is still moulting into full breeding plumage, seems to be sizing up the feather it wants to use

Eggs

Size: 21 x 15 mm Colour: White, with light-grey speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

House Sparrows are very sociable birds and are often found in flocks.

Food, Diet

House Sparrows are omnivores, with a preference for grain and insects. During the breeding season an ample supply of insects is required for feeding the young, but also for the females to build up energy.

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

passdom_dw_20170119_2.mp3 domesticus
(Ctl Poland)
Contact calls © DW
passdom_dw_20170119_1.mp3 domesticus
(Ctl Poland)
Contact calls © DW
passdom_20141104.mp3 domesticus Contact calls © MD
passdom_mm_20161217.mp3 domesticus Contact calls © MM
passdom_20140723.mp3 domesticus Contact calls(?) © MD
passdom_20140722.mp3 domesticus Group chatter © MD
passdom_20140722_2.mp3 domesticus Group chatter © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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