Sparrow - House Sparrow - Hebridean Birds

Western Isles Birds - House Sparrow - small birds, though common in the Western Isles, still striking birds.

Both male house sparrows and females have brown backs, with dark streaks, and grey underparts.


The males beak is a yellow brown in winter but is black in the summer. Their legs are a pale brown .Females are generally much paler all over and lack the facial markings. Their backs are noticeably striped with buff, black, and brown.

Sparrow - Housesparrow -  Western Isles Bird Sightings
Bird Overview - House Sparrow
Family
Sparrows -Passeridae
Latin name
Passer domesticus

 Population
Common


Similar Species
Tree Sparrow
Dunnock
Description

Both male house sparrows and females have brown backs, with dark streaks, and grey underparts. Males can easily be distinguished from females by their facial markings, with a grey crown, chestnut back with black streaks, black around the bill, extending down into a black bib.

The males beak is a yellow brown in winter but is black in the summer. Their legs are a pale brown.

Females are generally much paler all over and lack the facial markings. Their backs are noticeably striped with buff, black, and brown.

The juveniles look very much like the adult females.



Size
The house sparrows are the size similar to that of a robin. Typical length is 16 cm about 6 inches. They weigh between 29 - 35 g.
Habitat
These are familiar little birds, commonly seen flocking in areas of human habitation. Found from the centre of cities to the farmland of the countryside, it feeds and breeds near to people.

Vanishing from the centre of many cities, but not uncommon in most towns and villages. It is absent from parts of the Scottish Highlands and is thinly distributed in most upland areas.


Food
House sparrows feed mainly on seeds, but in the breeding season the adults will take some animal matters, mainly insects. They are primarily ground feeders, eating seeds and shoots and berries, they do also insects like butterflies and larvae of young insects
Voice
House sparrows are highly vocal, chirping and chattering a wide range of different sounds.
Breeding

House sparrows, during their breeding season mate very frequently. After May, 3-5 whitish, blotched eggs are laid. The nest is an untidy domed or cup-shaped structure of rubbish: paper, straw, string.

The female incubates the eggs for up to 14 days, after which time both parents share the task of feeding the young for around 15 days.

Three or more broods may be produced every breeding season

For the first part of the nesting period, house sparrows will feed their young small insects.They may still be fed by the adults for another 2 weeks after leaving the nest



Misc. Info

There has been in recent years a severe decline in numbers, particularly in England, however Scotland is showing a slight increase in the house .sparrow population

House sparrows have always been gregarious at all times mixing in autumn and winter with finches in the fields

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