The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a small bird with an almost worldwide occurrence. The species is native to Europe, northern Africa, and Asia, but became also introduced to most other regions including North and South America, most of Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Today, it is considered to be the most widely distributed bird species! The range extension began already more than a century ago and is still an on-going process as shown by the colonisation of Iceland in 1990. The birds became used to humans several thousand years ago and mostly live within villages, cities, or other settlements. Their diet is very diverse including different plant parts (e.g., seeds) as well as spiders, insects, and other invertebrates. Within cities, the birds are also known to scavenge for leftover food and crumbs. Females and juveniles are coloured in a dull brown or grey, while males are much more boldly coloured. House Sparrows are very social birds and often live in flocks. They not only look for food together, but also sing as groups in bushes, share baths in puddles or in the dust, and breed together. Apart from these occupations, the birds are not very adventurous and most individuals do not travel more than a few kilometres during their lifetime (only few populations are known to migrate for longer distances). They even live in monogamous pairs, bonding for life. I took most of the photographs in this post in northern Germany (April 2015), where the House Sparrow is one of the most abundant birds. The last four photographs are from a journey to India and have been taken in Jaipur, Rajasthan (January 2014).
We have a green wall in the garden at the house. Simple ivy. About 30 feet high. It became home to almost a hundred sparrows at a time. Buggers made a raucous noise every morning at six and every afternoon as they came back from “work”. They seem to have gone. Mexico city’s pollution maybe. 😦
haha – wow, that must have been quite a sight!! Probably there was always something to see with all that “family-life” going on… let’s hope at least some come back!! 🙂
Yest. I had to spend an hour in a shopping area while my car got worked on, and there were so many house sparrows in hidden nests throughout the structure. It was wonderful to hear their cheerful chatter among the city noises. I appreciate this highlight of a common but beautiful and successful bird. 😀
thank you for your comment!! I feel the same way: even “ordinary” or “common” birds can be great to observe, they are just too often not really appreciated due to their abundance…
Wow, excellent info and history lesson on this species! Well done!
thanks a lot!!! 🙂 I’m happy that you like the post that much!!
You make an important point about sparrows scavenging for food- especially seeds like rice grains. We used to have a lot of sparrows in the city- however with more high-rise buildings and plastic packaging coming up the sparrows have disappeared from the city and we only see them in villages or smaller towns. Here’s my photo of sparrow from Jaipur 🙂 https://sukanyaramanujan.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/stillness-motion/
haha – great photos!! I like the “blurrr”-effect!! 🙂
Although the populations of House Sparrows are fluctuating and even diminishing in some regions, it is still a very common species… fortunately we don’t have to worry about them yet! 🙂
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