House Sparrows

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Identification

  • Colour Grey to brown
  • Size From 14 cm to 18 cm in length, with a wingspan of 19 cm to 25 cm
  • Also known as Finch, English sparrow.
  • Description Males have brown and black striping on the wings and mantle, a grey crown, black mask and bib, and a chestnut stripe behind a white face. Females are a dusky brown above and grey underneath, with no black markings or grey crown.

How to prevent House Sparrows from invading

Eliminate food sources, including bird feeders for other species. Repair and seal any exterior cavities where birds can nest. Cover vents and other openings with wire mesh.

Habitat, Diet, and Life Cycle

Habitat

In Canada, house sparrows can be found in all major cities and town of all provinces. They can also be found in southern regions of each territory, including the cities of Yellowknife and Whitehorse.

Diet

House sparrows only eat insects when their nestlings are young. During the rest of the year they enjoy a varied diet which includes the very grain crops they had been imported to protect.

Life Cycle

Breeding typically begins in March for house sparrows, allowing them to claim nesting spots before native birds arrive during spring migration, and can continue until August. A pair of mated sparrows may raise up to four broods each year, with as many as six eggs at a time. Exponential population growth has allowed these birds to expand their range across North and Central America.

Commonly Asked Questions

Why do I have house sparrows?

The house sparrow, also known as the weaver finch or English sparrow, typically live near humans, because it provides them with some security from natural predators.

They commonly scavenge food around open air eating establishments, parking lots, and on roads, but also eat seeds and seedlings, buds, flowers, vegetables, and maturing fruits.

How worried should I be about house sparrows?

House sparrows transmit diseases which affect humans, pets and livestock. Some of these can be fatal, including beef tapeworms, chlamydiosis, erysipeloid, Newcastle disease, salmonellosis, schistosomiasis, and toxoplasmosis.

These pest birds also wreak havoc on backyard gardens, consume and spoil livestock food and water, and deface buildings and facilities with their nests and droppings.

House sparrows are surprisingly aggressive, ousting native species like the Eastern bluebird, chickadees, tufted titmice, and tree swallows from their nests. They have also been known to destroy the eggs of competing species, while threatening or even attacking the adults.

Unfortunately, house sparrows can reproduce exponentially, hatching up to 24 eggs each year.
Dealing with these pest birds quickly is essential, to prevent them reproducing on your property and wreaking even more damage.

However, it’s crucial to abide by regulatory restrictions. To make sure you are complying with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Fish & Wildlife Act when removing your birds, you should use a professional, licensed pest control service.

Other pests related to House Sparrows

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