Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered


House Sparrow Passer domesticus


enlarge +

House Sparrow, male
credit: Mdf/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

All Images

3 articles:

Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Passeridae, Old World Sparrows view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has a gray crown, cheeks, and rump. Nape, sides of crown, back, and wings are chestnut-brown, underparts are pale gray, and throat and breast are black. Bill is dark and legs are reddish. In winter, chestnut and black elements of plumage are less intense (due to pale feather fringes) and bill is paler. ADULT FEMALE Has mainly brown upperparts, including crown; back is streaked with buff. Underparts are pale gray and note the pale buff supercilium behind eye. JUVENILE Similar to adult female, but plumage pattern is less distinct.

Dimensions Length: 5-6 1/2" (13-17 cm)

Habitat Has flourished since its introduction to North America, first to New York City in mid-19th century; now common and widespread in town parks, gardens, and farms. It is faring better here than in many parts of its native Europe.

Observation Tips Hard to miss.

Range Eastern Canada, Florida, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Texas, California, Western Canada, Northwest, Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Plains, Southeast, New England

Voice Utters a range of chirping calls; in combination, these comprise the song.

Discussion Introduced from Old World, but now familiar across North America, mainly because of its affinity for people. Seldom seen far from houses and farms. Frequently dust-bathes. Often tame where it is fed regularly. Sexes are dissimilar.