House Sparrow

A relatively small (14cm) bird, with a big, chunky bill. The males are streaked brown above and pale grey below with a distinctive grey crown and bold black bib on the chest. Females are less distinctive, being paler, streaked yellowy-brown above and buff below, with a distinctive pale stripe above the eye. These birds are highly social, breeding and overwintering in groups.

Scientific name

Passer domesticus

Did you know..

The House sparrow is arguably the bird species that has best adapted and exploited humans. They enormously adaptable and have colonised most of the world, and have been recording living alongside humans for millennia. Despite this success, their population in Britain has plummeted over the last forty years, by as much as 70% nationally and as much as 99% in some urban areas. As such, they are a species of particular conservation concern in the UK.

Similar species

Can be confused with Tree Sparrow, with both sexes having similar colouring to male House sparrows. Distinguishing feature of House sparrows is the grey crown, which is brown in Tree sparrows. Tree sparrows also have bold square black spot on the cheek. Also may be confused with Dunnock, which also has brown streaked upperparts. However, the Dunnock has quite a slim, pointy bill and a blue-grey breast and head.

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