Sparrow (Passeridae)

BIRDS / PERCHING BIRDS /

 Genus Passer

Species under this Genus are called ‘True Sparrows’. The genus includes the house sparrow and the Eurasian tree sparrow, some of the most common birds in the world. They are small birds with thick bills for eating seeds, and are mostly coloured grey or brown. Native to the Old World, some species have been introduced throughout the world.

House sparrow (Passer domesticus) Resident
 House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) Juvenile Copyright Peter Drury

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) Juvenile
Copyright Peter Drury

A small bird, it has a typical length of 16 centimetres (6.3 inches) and a mass of 24–39.5 grams (0.85–1.39 ounces). Females and young birds are coloured pale brown and grey, and males have brighter black, white, and brown markings. One of about 25 species in the genus Passer, the house sparrow is native to most of Europe, the Mediterranean region, and much of Asia. Its intentional or accidental introductions to many regions, including parts of Australia, Africa, and the Americas, make it the most widely distributed wild bird.
it typically avoids extensive woodlands, grasslands, and deserts away from human development. It feeds mostly on the seeds of grains and weeds, but it is an opportunistic eater and commonly eats insects and many other foods. Its predators include domestic cats, hawks, owls, and many other predatory birds and mammals.

Where these can be seen: Commonly found throughout the nature reserves.

Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus) Resident
Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) Copyright Peter Drury

Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
Copyright Peter Drury

The plumage is a rich chestnut crown and nape, and a black patch on each pure white cheek. The sexes are similarly plumaged, and young birds are a duller version of the adult. This sparrow breeds over most of temperate Eurasia and Southeast Asia, where it is known as the tree sparrow, and it has been introduced elsewhere including the United States, where it is known as the Eurasian tree sparrow or German sparrow to differentiate it from the native unrelated American tree sparrow.
The Eurasian tree sparrow is widespread in the towns and cities of eastern Asia, but in Europe it is a bird of lightly wooded open countryside, with the house sparrow breeding in the more urban areas. The Eurasian tree sparrow’s extensive range and large population ensure that it is not endangered globally, but there have been large declines in western European populations, in part due to changes in farming practices involving increased use of herbicides and loss of winter stubble fields.

Where these can be seen: Not so common. If you see a sparrow, check the cheeks. If it has a dark patch in the white , then this is the tree sparrow.

Sparrow Gallery