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Sociable, cheeky and for many, the archetypal small brown bird. Sadly, though house sparrows are one of the most common garden visitors, numbers are declining. You can often hear house sparrows, as their flocks squabble for food.
The male house sparrow is a handsome little chap, with a grey crown and black bib. The larger the bib, the more successful he is at attracting females. Rich brown and grey upper parts, with a white wingbar that contrasts the underparts, which are dingy grey. The female is duller, with black edged, tawny underparts.
Listen for the well known “cheep”, often sung by many birds at the same time.
An insect feeder in the summer, and a lover of grain in winter. Will take all manner of foods from humans.
Breeds from April to August. Nests mainly in holes, and has been known to nest under roof tiles. Lays 3-6 pale eggs with brown and grey speckles. Incubates for 11-14 days with young fledging after 14-19 days. Can raise up to four broods!
The house sparrow does not like to share, and has been known to “kick” blue tits and other such small birds, off peanut feeders.
The dunnock; it can be quite a challenge to tell them apart! Listen for their call.