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House Sparrow

A male House Sparrow sitting on the edge of metal bowl
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Scientific Name: Passer domesticus

Size: 14 to 16 cm

What does it look and sound like?

The male House Sparrow has black and brown upperparts, pale grey underparts, a grey crown, and a black face and throat (the size of the black patch on the throat varies, and extends onto the chest and upper belly when breeding). The bill also changes from brown to black during this time. The female is paler, has a pale buff eye stripe and lacks the grey crown and black face of the male. 

Birds give a variety of calls, but the most typical is a sharp double-noted “chiisck” or “cherrup”.

Where is it found?

The House Sparrow was introduced into Australia in the 1860s and is now found throughout the eastern half of Australia.

What are its habitats & habits?

As the name suggests, the House Sparrow is strongly associated with houses and other buildings, and is common in the associated gardens and parklands. It is also a common visitor to cafes and other places where food is sold and consumed on site.

Pairs typically build their untidy ball-shaped nest in the roof spaces and wall cavities of buildings and similar structures, but will also use tree hollows. the next consists of grass, wool and feathers. Several broods can be raised in a season, which is mainly in Spring and summer but can last all year in some areas.

Birds are normally seen in small to large groups.

Interesting facts

Pairs form permanent bonds and both build the nest, but the female performs all incubation duties alone.

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