English/House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

House Sparrow

House sparrow (Greg Bartman, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org)


Sparrows (Deena Sharon Chadi, Bank Street College of Education, Bugwood.org)

Sparrow and nestlings

Sparrow and nestlings (Jim Occi, BugPics, Bugwood.org)


  • about 6 inches long
  • Males:
    • dark brown streaked with black above and gray underside
    • large black patch under beak
  • Females:
    • dusky brownish gray with blackish stripes above and gray underside
    • yellowish beak

Nesting Habits

  • nest in protected areas in or near buildings (e.g., on ledges, in gutters and light fixtures and under eaves)
  • build nests from grass, straw, feathers and debris frequently reuse nesting sites


  • grains, seeds, garden plants and fruit
  • feed insects and food refuse to young


  • heath concern; associated with over 29 diseases and ectoparasites, including bird mites
  • contaminate many different materials with droppings

IPM Recommendations

  • Install plastic netting on parts of the building used for roosting and nesting or use deterrents such as plastic or metal spines on ledges.
  • Reduce or eliminated their feeding sites and water sources.
  • Close all openings larger than 3/4 inch.
  • Install slanted metal, plexiglass or wooden boards (45° angle) over ledges.