Bird Families

The house sparrow is the most common species of the true sparrow genus of the passerine family.


The plucky house sparrow is one of the most abundant birds in the world that has been introduced in many places and is often considered an invasive species. Ironically, however, its population is experiencing severe declines in many of its native regions, and conservation measures are needed to protect this bird from extinction from its home range.

Common name: House Sparrow, Common Sparrow, English Sparrow, Sparrow
Scientific name: Passerby Domesticus
Scientific Family: Passeridae


  • BillThick and tapered, black in males and grayish with a yellow base in females
  • The size: 5-6 inches long with 9 inches wingspan, stocky body
  • Colors: Black, brown, white, light gray, gray
  • Markings: Men and women look different. Males have a black chin and a bib with white cheeks, a rust-colored cap and a nape. Blacks on the chin and chest can vary widely, with older, more dominant men showing more black. The lower body is pale grayish, while the back and wings have brown and black stripes. The shard is gray. Males also have one white wing bar. Females are simpler, with wide eyebrows, brown wings and stripes on the back. Both sexes have pale legs and feet and dark eyes.
    Juveniles resemble adult females, but with less pronounced markings and a less pronounced brow.

Products: Insects, seeds, grain, fruits, lard (See: Granivorous)

Habitat and migration:

House sparrows were first introduced to North America in the 1850s and became one of the most common birds in southern Canada, the continental United States, Mexico and Central America. They adapt easily to urban, suburban and agricultural habitats, but are rarely found far from human habitation. Globally, these birds are also distributed throughout Europe, Russia and the Middle East, including India, although their numbers are declining over most of their natural range in the Old World. House sparrows do not usually migrate, but can become nomads when looking for food sources.


House sparrows can be very loud in large groups, but when alone they are quieter. Their calls include a tremulous "squeak" and fast sounds. Young birds can use a variety of soft begging to get the attention of the parents in the nest.


Household sparrows gather in large flocks for feeding and sleeping, and bird colonies can consist of several family flocks. They usually forage on the ground by jumping and scratching with their feet or in trees and bushes looking for insects. These birds can become aggressive towards other birds feeding nearby and more daring around people.

Addictiveness to people has made domestic sparrows resourceful in the search for unique foods. They have been seen inspecting car grills for insects and will feed farms looking for spilled seed and grain, even digging through heaps of horse or cow dung. They will also visit compost piles and other unique options while looking for food.


House sparrows are generally monogamous and will build bulky nests in roof crevices, birdhouses and natural tree cavities, or they may drive other birds out of their nests. The nest usually consists of grass, twigs, straw, weeds, feathers, and the like, and the oval-shaped eggs are light green or bluish in color with small dark spots. The female incubates a brood of 4-6 eggs for 14-18 days, then both parents regurgitate food for the chicks for 14-18 days until they leave the nest. Depending on the climate, pairs of sparrows at home can raise 2-3 broods per year.

Attraction of the House of Sparrows:

For many backyard birders, the challenge is not to attract house sparrows, but to keep them out because they are so abundant and aggressive. House sparrows will easily go to platforms or feeders offering mixed seeds, sunflower seeds, or cracked corn, and they often nest along the eaves of houses.


Although these sparrows are not considered threatened or endangered worldwide, they are experiencing varying degrees of population decline in their native range. Providing suitable nesting sites, food sources and clean water, and scaring off feral cats is essential to protect domestic sparrows, especially in urban areas.

2. Taxonomy

The original name of the species, Fringilla domestica, was given by Linnaeus, who attributed the house sparrow to the genus Fringilla finches.


There are 12 subspecies of house sparrow:

  • Passer domesticus hufufae Ticehurst & Cheesman, 1924
  • Passer domesticus biblicus Hartert, 1904
  • Passer domesticus niloticus Nicoll & Bonhote, 1909
  • Passer domesticus Linnaeus, 1758
  • Passer domesticus bactrianus Zarudny & Kudashev, 1916
  • Passer domesticus indicus Jardine & Selby, 1831
  • Passer domesticus hyrcanus Zarudny & Kudashev, 1916
  • Passer domesticus rufidorsalis Brehm, 1855
  • Passer domesticus tingitanus Loche, 1867
  • Passer domesticus balearoibericus von Jordans, 1923
  • Passer domesticus persicus Zarudny & Kudashev, 1916
  • Passer domesticus parkini Whistler, 1920

Earlier, the Indian sparrow, widespread in Central Asia, similar in color to the brownie, but migratory and less synanthropic, was considered as an independent species of P. indicus.

3. Genetics

Karyotype: 76 - 78 chromosomes 2 n.

Molecular genetics

  • Protein sequences deposited in EntrezProtein Database, GenBank, NCBI, USA: 963 as of February 25, 2020.
  • Deposited nucleotide sequences in the EntrezNucleotide Database, GenBank, NCBI, USA: 2279 as of February 25, 2020.

The house sparrow, as the genetically most studied representative of the entire family of passerines, owns the majority of the deposited sequences in the genus Passer and in the family as a whole.

Genome: 1.26 - 1.57 pg C-value.

The house sparrow began to spread throughout Europe and Asia from the Middle East 11 thousand years ago, at the same time the subspecies P. domesticus bactrianus separated. House sparrows have a variant of the AMY2A gene, which causes the synthesis of a more efficient form of pancreatic alpha-amylase, which allows the decomposition of long starch molecules into shorter ones.

5. In culture and technology

It is impossible to list all examples of the occurrence of a sparrow in culture, only a few of them are given below:

  • Luo Guanzhong's book "Three Kingdoms" tells how the empress saw a jasper sparrow in a dream and gave birth to Shun, and also tells about the discovery of a bronze sparrow statue.
  • Sparrow is a character in Sergei Mikhalkov's fable "The Non-Drinking Sparrow".
  • The pseudonym-surname of the great Edith Piaf means "sparrow" in the Parisian argot.
  • The most popular poems dedicated to sparrows and which caused many imitations, as well as paintings, numerous paintings "Lesbia with a Sparrow", were written by the ancient Roman poet Catullus, who sang the poultry of his beloved Lesbia. It is curious that a small genus Lesbia in the hummingbird family got its name in honor of the Lesbia sparrow.
  • Movie characters pirate captain Jack Sparrow Jack Sparrow borrows his nickname from a bird, Charles Bukowski in Waste Paper has a character called Red Sparrow, a character nicknamed Sparrow is in Republic Shkid, A. N. Tolstoy in Mirage, Sergey Kaledin in The Humble Cemetery, also calls one of his Shinken Hopp characters "Magic Chalk", Eleanor Ratkevich "The Sword Handle". Also Sparrow - the nickname of Sparrow in the movie "Ninth Company".
  • "Sparrow" is a children's magazine published by Marshak, he also has the poem "Sparrow in the Zoo"
  • In the stories of the chronicles about how Princess Olga avenged her husband's death, sparrows, along with pigeons, act as one of the tools - the ruler asked her enemies for tribute: several birds from each house, then tied a burning tow to each of them and set them free ... The birds returned to their homes and thus burned the city to the ground.
  • Mamin-Sibiryak wrote "The Tale of Sparrow Vorobeich, Ruff Ershovich and the cheerful chimney sweep Yasha".
  • There is a popular expression "shot sparrow", meaning an experienced, experienced person.
  • AIM-7 Sparrow from English. - The Sparrow is an American air-to-air missile.
  • The yearning sparrow appears in Ibsen's poem "Life's Complications".
  • In her poem "Hymn to Aphrodite" the ancient Greek poetess Sappho describes the chariot of the goddess of love as drawn by sparrows.
  • In the New Testament, Jesus says that even a sparrow cannot fall from heaven without the will of the Lord Luke 12: 6, Matthew 10:29.
  • In Kuprin's story "Sparrow" this bird flies to a fresh grave and acts as a symbol of young life, causing conflicting feelings in the hero.
  • Konstantin Paustovsky wrote the fairy tale "The Disheveled Sparrow".