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House Sparrow Facts

Priyanka Kosta Sonkushre
Those little sparrows sitting on the rooftop are such a pleasure to watch! It is amazing to see these tiny birds fly all over with such energy and enthusiasm. How about knowing some interesting facts about this little bird? If interested - check them out!
House Sparrow is a tiny bird found roaming around in our neighborhood. It is scientifically known as Passer domesticus and is found to exist at every place where humans have a living. There are a very few places where this bird has no existence.
It is very sociable, linked to human establishments in a great way, and is found in large cities as well as rural areas. It is associated with human beings more than any other bird. It can be identified as a small bird with large, round head, stout bill, short tail, and a full chest.
Females have black, buff and brown strips on the back and have a dull brown body with grayish-brown underparts, while their male counterparts are brightly colored with white cheeks, gray head, and black bib. To know more about them, check out some fascinating facts that follow.

Interesting Facts About House Sparrows

● House Sparrow has its origin in Great Britain. It is also known as English sparrow to differentiate from the native North American Sparrow.
● Salt Lake City, California, and San Francisco were few of the cities where this bird was introduced.
● In 1851, the House Sparrow was brought in Brooklyn, New York for the first time in North America. Later, the species flourished to a large extent and spread across the West Coast and Rocky Mountains.
● Their killing was legally banned in Texas in the year 1883.
● House Sparrow is a symbol of loyalty in Japan owing to its friendly nature and ability to live in groups.
● It symbolizes insignificance in the New Testament of the Bible and is associated with loneliness in the Old Testament.
● There are fifteen different subspecies of House Sparrows in the West.
● These birds can grow as old as 12 years!
● The oldest sparrow recorded till date is known to live for 15 years and 9 months!
● Both sexes of the bird measure 15-17 cm in length, with a wingspan of 19-25 cm and weigh around 27-29 g.
● The North American sparrows are longer than South American sparrows.
● The adaptability of House Sparrow to the North American environment has led to the sidelining of other bird species. This has become a cause of concern as their growing population has become unmanageable.
● House Sparrows have the capability of swimming underwater! Yes, its true. Even though these birds are not water birds, it is observed that they can actually swim underwater to move from one place to the other.
● Like most living beings, these sparrows also have enemies. House Birds and Starlings are bird species known to destroy their eggs and fight for nests.
● House Sparrows love to play with dust and soil. They spoil themselves in the dust as if trying to have a bath with it.
● House Sparrows love to play with dust and soil. They spoil themselves in the dust as if trying to have a bath with it.
● They are philopatric i.e., they have the tendency to get back to their birthplace after migration.
● Their general diet includes grains, seeds, and vegetables which they easily steal away from human dwellings.
● The Handbook of Texas Online mentions the fact that House Sparrows can feed on around 830 variety of foods.
● These birds have a mate for every breeding season and live in the same group for life.
● Both the male and female sparrow incubate the eggs for 10-14 days, after which the eggs hatch and the young ones are taken care of.
● Their flying capacity is not more than 3-5 km. They keep roaming around their dwelling for fetching food for themselves and their young ones.
● Older male sparrows with large black patches on the body are dominant over males with small patches.
● Male sparrows dominate over females during fall and winter, while females dominate during summer and spring.
● House Sparrows, when nervous, flick their tails to ease out the tension.
● They have contributed to science in a significant way. Approximately 5000 research papers have been published with these little birds as study species.
Now you know how amazing these tiny birds are! Their close proximity to our dwellings have made them an inseparable part of our surroundings. Significant decrease in their population is seen these days. This could possibly be due to less availability of nesting sites, mobile phone radiations, predation, and diseases.
We can do our bit by building bird boxes in our garden or backyard to provide a nesting space to them. If the population drops down drastically, it will be really sad to see fewer or no House Sparrows around.