Photo by Melody

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

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Order: Passeriformes
Family: Passeridae
Genus: Passer
Species: domesticus

Profile:

5 positives
2 neutrals
8 negatives

Regional...

This bird has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
North Little Rock, Arkansas
Canoga Park, California
Big Pine Key, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Port Richey, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Montpelier, Idaho
Granite City, Illinois
Hinsdale, Illinois
Rock Falls, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Coatesville, Indiana
Corunna, Indiana
Kalona, Iowa
Panora, Iowa
Yale, Iowa
Hebron, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Clinton, Maryland
Linthicum Heights, Maryland
Halifax, Massachusetts
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Maben, Mississippi
Conway, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Saint Robert, Missouri
Tipton, Missouri
Nashua, New Hampshire
Beachwood, New Jersey
Marlton, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Himrod, New York
Yonkers, New York
Belfield, North Dakota
Bucyrus, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Lebanon, Ohio
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Sidney, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Gold Hill, Oregon
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Whitehall, Pennsylvania
Elizabethton, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Cleburne, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Euless, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Katy, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
, Virginia
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Walkerton, Virginia
Lakewood, Washington
Appleton, Wisconsin
Kenosha, Wisconsin

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There are a total of 36 photos.
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Member Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive Resin On Dec 26, 2008, Resin from Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a) wrote:

In Europe, where it is native, it is in serious decline, even being red-listed as an Endangered Species in many European countries.

Negative nanny_56 On Jan 3, 2009, nanny_56 from Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b) wrote:

This bird is a threat to native cavity nesters and is very invasive.

Positive WaterCan2 On Jan 7, 2009, WaterCan2 from Eastern Long Island, NY
(Zone 7a) wrote:

They're everywhere here, someone up there must like them, or else 'HE' wouldn't have made so many of them. ☺

Neutral Malus2006 On Apr 20, 2009, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN
(Zone 4a) wrote:

Hmm I would say they are in decline even in the US- I don't see too many as in the past - the reason why some people see them often is because they use the very badly named "wildbird seed mix" which most native birds in the Eastern US snub or have to flick large amount of seed out of the birdfeeder to get at the few good seeds - House Sparrow eat what the native birds snub, namely Millet. My grandma once have large amount of house sparrow eating at her cheap wildbird seed mix then largely disappeared when we changed to cracked sunflower seed only.
They have interesting nesting habit - parking garages in downtown Minneapolis out of the rain and wind- I have seen them nest in a traffic light post - there's a hole about 2 inches wide (cap fall off or just the way it is?) and I have seen birds dart in and out of the holes for about 3 years in a row now.

Negative dottyjojo On Sep 11, 2009, dottyjojo from Tipton, MO wrote:

These birds are an invasive pest here, I've found them to nest over blue bird eggs and even live babies. They try to take over the purple martin houses where they agressively fight the male martins.

One of my biggest complaints is they are so dirty. They don't clean their nests as they brood their babies and the nests become infested with mites, ants and other things.

Definitely a pest but they persist. The best prevention for me is to clean out their nest and destroy the nesting material or they will rebuild immediately. Seems as if they can build a new nest, lay eggs and hatch the eggs before I'm through cleaning up after them.

Positive Juttah On May 4, 2010, Juttah from Tucson, AZ
(Zone 8a) wrote:

I can't help but admire these street-smart birds -- they are so adaptable, and surprisingly intelligent. I've watched them trigger the automatic doors at Home Depot by deliberately flying in front of them and then waiting for the doors to open. I've seen them zig-zagging after insects like flycatchers, and following Robins and then snatching their food away. Right now the ones in my yard think they're chickadees, hanging from Mesquite catkins while they pick out insects and pollen. Male House Sparrows are good daddies, sharing in the duties of raising young, unlike some more well-loved species, for example hummingbirds.

Negative Bluebird29 On Nov 24, 2010, Bluebird29 from Montpelier, ID wrote:

These pests took over my feeder. They bullied other native species away. I switched to black oil sunflower seed, and I only see a few of them now. They are still one of the only birds I see in our town, though. If only we could send all of them back to Europe, where they are native and don't cause trouble.

Negative hydey6 On Aug 23, 2011, hydey6 from Corunna, IN wrote:

This bird is a pain! I took away the black sun flower seed because they eat it up within a hour after putting it out and now they have their young eating all the finch food!! Some say they don't eat sunflower, but they sure do here. They are dirty, never clean their nests out when raising their young. I know what I'd like to do with them.

Neutral frogymon On Mar 26, 2012, frogymon from Lisle, IL
(Zone 5a) wrote:

Along with House Finches, these are the most common birds at my feeders.

Negative pansy51 On Apr 3, 2012, pansy51 from Kenosha, WI wrote:

Although these birds are tough survivors, they seem to have few redeeming qualities. I've never heard them sing, and personally witnessed a "gang" killing a bluebird and taking over the bluebird house before I could come to the rescue.

Positive Nefitara On May 3, 2012, Nefitara from Port Richey, FL
(Zone 9a) wrote:

I never have a problem with them and I see a lot of them around my house. I think they're cute and I don't mind them eating the food I have...it's why I feed the birds. I don't discriminate!

Negative 1alh1 On May 28, 2012, 1alh1 from Sidney, OH
(Zone 6a) wrote:

Disgusting, filthy bullies. They have prevented bluebirds from building nests in our houses. They killed baby bluebirds 2 years ago, and they are aggressive toward all of the birds who come to our feeders...except the pileated woodpecker. Check out sialis.org to learn more about why house sparrows are an invasive and undesirable species.

Negative GrammyJo On Jun 5, 2012, GrammyJo from Granite City, IL
(Zone 6a) wrote:

House Sparrows are not native to the United States. They were brought here by Europeans and I sincerely wish they had LEFT them in Europe! They have severely effected the numbers of our native 'House Finches' which are adorable, sweet-natured birds with LOVELY songs and calls including having extremely endearing habits towards their mates and their offspring. If anyone has had the pleasure of observing House Finches during mating season and as attentive parents to precious babies and have compared them to the over bearing, UNRELENTINGLY chirping House Sparrows the differences are glaring!

It's the same with Starlings which were also imported from Europe. They MUST be one of the most annoying, destructive, BULLY species to ever invade the United States! Wish they were gone along with House Sparrows. Our NATIVE species are much sweeter and FAR more fun to watch IMO!

Positive Clary On Jun 17, 2012, Clary from Lewisburg, PA
(Zone 6b) wrote:

I have at times had too many of these birds on my property; dozens at a time. They seem recently to be less numerous but I also now have a catbird who chases other birds from the watering stations. House sparrows are more persistent at defying the catbird and using the baths than other species have been.

This is not a native species. I wish I saw fewer of these and more native birds.

I have to laugh at the comment that describes their chirping in negative terms - it is to me a combination of a chirp and a yip that is repetitious and not melodic. It sounds a bit like an insect.

The only reason I give these birds a positive is because they are BEETLE EATING MACHINES. They swoop over the garden all day long, hovering near the flowers and plucking off japanese beetles then "shelling" them on the sidewalk. I actually have to sweep away piles of japanese beetle shells sometimes. I've never seen any creature so focused on removing a pest from my garden. I use no pest control other than encouraging helpers like spiders, toads, and birds. The house sparrow is a star in this regard.

Negative Chillybean On Jul 25, 2014, Chillybean from Near Central, IA
(Zone 5a) wrote:

I've read several reasons this bird was brought to the US. One is folk thought they were good bug eaters and released them into towns to control some worm. Sadly, they only catch bugs when their nestlings are small. Another reason is some people from Europe missed the song of this bird, so brought some here. Those Europeans sure made a mess of things didn't they? But remember, how many of us are descendants of those people and make our own unwise choices. ;)

As much as we'd like to send them back, think of the logistics. The cost, the care, etc until a batch is released on the other side of the Atlantic. How many would actually survive? I believe I read many died on the way over here to begin with.

We find the only things the HOSP do not eat are safflower, thistle and nectar. They will even eat at bark butter and suet. We find plenty of native birds eating millet, so will continue buying that seed, even if it does mean a few spatzies sneak in a bite or two.

I do admit they are adaptable, especially in towns where suitable nesting sites for most birds are at a premium. At our place, we have several nesting boxes up and they do not know what they are for! We've found their nests in trees, old Barn Swallow nests, garage and grain bins. This number is decreasing as we do not encourage them to stay here. We know they are around, because a few brave the feeders and the males sing, but we have not found a nest the last two summers.


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