House Sparrow Passer domesticus   [Linnaeus, 1758]

Jump to: Other Names Trends & Distribution Breeding & Survival Biometrics Books & Links

For details point at or click the button; for sources point at the button

Order: Passeriformes Family: Passeridae
BTO Codes: HS, HOUSP EURING No: 15910
Number in Britain: 5.1 million Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
UK: RED
European: 3 Concern, most not in Europe; Declining
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Resident Breeder
Subspecies: domesticus recorded in Britain (of 12 subsp. in the world)
.
Length: 14 cm Wingspan: 24 cm Weight: M/F: 34 g    
Scientific name from: L.: passer=a sparrow and L.: domesticus=domestic (from domus=house)
World Distribution: Europe, n Africa, Asia, INTRODUCED: Americas, s&e Africa, Australia
Habitat: Near man
Diet: Seeds, also shoots, berries, scraps, nestlings mostly insects, mostly on ground, but will hover
TitBit: The House Sparrow nests in close association with man, but a nest 600m down a coal mine shaft in Yorkshire was exceptional.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: Scotland   Wales   England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 5.1 million Pairs in 2009
    First Record: Recorded in Anglo-Saxon times [Fossil evidence from Devensian (last) glaciation, 10-120,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Newson, S.E. et al. (2008) Journal of Applied Ecology 45:1330-1338
    Conservation Status: RED because Recent Breeding Population Decline,
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 RED     1996-2001 GREEN  
   Races of Concern: domesticus RED (Recent Decline)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Most frequent in: Towns
    Also common in: Villages
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
European Population Size:
    Summer: 53 to 110 million pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: NERC (41)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack
Results from Garden BirdWatch
Results from the Winter Farmland Bird Survey
Results from BTO Report for Defra

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 22 x 16 mm Egg Weight: 2.9 g (of which 7 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 269
Clutch Size: 4 - 5 eggs 4.15 ± 0.84 (2 - 7) N = 2087
Incubation: 13- 15 days 13.61 ± 2.43 (9.5 - 18.5) N = 2087   by the: Female
Fledging: 15 - 17days 15.55 ± 2.00 (12 - 19) N = 2973 as: Altricial, naked
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Nest Record Scheme data
First Clutches Laid: 14 May (27 Mar - 11 Jul)
Number of Broods: 2-3(4)
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.571 ± 0.009       
Juvenile Survival: 0.489 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 3 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 12 years 0 months 12 days (set in 1978)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries

Biometrics

Ring Size: B
Wing Length Adult: 77.1 ± 2.4 Range 73 - 81 mm, N =15876
Juvenile: 74.2 ± 2.6 70 - 78 mm, N =3221
Male: 78.2 ± 2.0 . - . mm, N =9110
Female: 75.5 ± 1.9 . - . mm, N =6692
Weight Adult: 27.33 ± 3.88 Range 24.20 - 30.70 g , N =13060
Juvenile: 26.64 ± 2.39 22.80 - 30.60 g , N =2491
Male: 27.41 ± 4.77 24.50 - 30.50 g , N =7482
Female: 27.23 ± 2.17 24.00 - 31.00 g , N =5513
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

 
Gaelic: Gealbhonn Welsh: Aderyn y Tô
Danish: Grĺspurv Dutch: Huismus
Finnish: Varpunen French: Moineau domestique
German: Haussperling Hungarian: Házi veréb
Icelandic: Gráspör Irish: Gealbhan Binne
Italian: Passera europea Norwegian: Grĺspurv
Polish: Wróbel zwyczajny Portuguese: Pardal-comum
Spanish: Gorrión doméstico Swedish: Grĺsparv
Local Names: Speug, Spadger
Collective Noun:Host (or Tribe)

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Summers-Smith, J.D. 1963 The house sparrow Collins, London [598.972 SUM]
   Summers-Smith, J.D. 1994 Studies of West Palearctic birds: House Sparrow British Birds 87:593-603
   Case, T.R. 2006 Biology of the ubiqitous House Sparrow University Press, Oxford [598.972 CAS]
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides
All About Birds (from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology)