House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

The House Sparrow is a small but sturdily built bird with a stout bill designed for eating seeds. Adult males are distinctive; the crown and nape are grey and only the sides of the head are brown. The black bib is wide and extends down onto the chest. The back is warm brown, streaked with black but with a few white wing feathers. Adult females and juvenile birds of both sexes are typically sandy brown in colour with brown and grey streaks on the back and wings.

Although adults will feed themselves on wide range of seeds, they need to find plenty of aphids and small caterpillars for their growing youngsters, especially in the first few days after hatching.

House Sparrows like to nest colonially, so one box on its own is unlikely to attract a breeding pair. They may nest in hedges and in climbing plants – but this does not mean that they are Hedge Sparrows or Tree Sparrows!

House Sparrows are red-listed birds of conservation concern.

  • Small nest box with hole (32mm)
  • Nest height: over 2m above ground
  • The nest is an untidy domed structure made of grasses, lined with feathers, hair and wool
  • Egg laying starts between mid March and early August. Up to four broods
  • 4 to 5 eggs. White or pale blue with darker spots
  • Incubation time: 13 -15 days
  • Nestlings fledge after 15-17 days