HOUSE SPARROW


Passer domesticus


Description:

This common backyard bird was introduced into North America in the 1850s for insect control. Ironically, while this bird does consume insects, it more commonly feeds on seeds. This bird's aggressiveness can drive other songbirds from nesting cavities and backyard feeders. Despite its increasing unpopularity, I find the contrasting black, white, and browns of the House Sparrow to be beautiful.


Appearance:

General: 5 to 6.5 inches in length.

Male: Light-gray underparts, chestnut-brown upperparts and nape. Black throat, eyestripe, and bill. White cheeks. Gray crown and rump. Female: Streaked dull-brown upperparts, dirty-white underparts. Pale eyestripe. Mottled wings.


Habitat:

Pretty much everywhere. Cities, towns, parks, backyards, etc.


Nesting:

5-6 white eggs lightly speckled with brown. They have a 10-13 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 14-17 days after hatching. The nest is a loose mass of mud, twigs, sticks, paper, string, and other debris, and is built in a cavity or tree. This bird may have 2-3 broods in a season.


Observed Locations:

  • Tijuana River Valley
  • Santa Ysabel Mission, Santa Ysabel
  • Wild Animal Park, Escondido
  • SDSU, San Diego
  • Throughout much of San Diego county





Click on an image to see the larger version.

details
Juvenile

details
Male

details
Male

details
Female

details
Female

 

 


Home | References
Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.