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House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

Length: 6 inches Wingspan: 10 inches Seasonality: All Seasons
ID Keys: Male has black bib, gray crown, chestnut nape.  Female gray underparts, black and buff stripes on back 

House Sparrow - Passer domesticusHouse Sparrows are one of the most widespread and abundant birds in the state, and throughout most of North America.  The House Sparrow is native to Europe and Asia.  It was first introduced in the 1850's in New York City and rapidly spread over most of the continent.  The House Sparrow strongly associates with areas of human activity, hence its ability to adapt to nearly any urban habitat.  Unpopular with many because it out-competes many native songbirds for nesting locations.  A male is pictured on the right.

Habitat: Nearly always around man-made structures, from densely populated urban centers to residential areas and farmsteads.

Diet: Primarily seeds, including those of weeds, grasses, and waste grain.  Also eats insects, fruits, and berries.  Has adapted to urban settings and will eat crumbs and other food left by humans. 

Nesting: April through July

Song: House Sparrow Song

Migration: Permanent resident throughout its range.

Interactive eBird Map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of House Sparrow sightings

Feeders: Will attend feeders for most seeds, grains, bread, and fruit.

Nest Boxes: Will use man-made nest boxes, often taking over nest boxes meant for bluebirds or other species.

Conservation Status: Populations have actually been declining steadily in recent deacdes.

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, House Sparrow

2) Cornell University's "All About Birds - House Sparrow"

3) eNature.com: House Sparrow

Photo Information: February 10th, 2007 - Palisades State Park near Garretson, South Dakota - Terry Sohl

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution House Sparrow photos.

 

Click on the range map for a higher-resolution view 
House Sparrow - Species Range Map
South Dakota Status: Common permanent resident across the state.

Additional House Sparrow Photos
Click for a higher-resolution version of these photos
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