About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A closer look at House Sparrows

Get to know your birds before the Great Backyard Birdcount (#GBBC)

House Sparrows can be found all across the world. They are so common in most cities that they are sometimes overlooked. Their name House comes from their success with the living near human habitations.

Male House Sparrows have a rusty-brown colored back and wings with black streaks, a gray head, buff cheeks and belly, and a black bib. Females are a plain buffy-brown overall with striped buff, black, and brown back.

House Sparrows were introduced to New York, USA in 1851 and are considered by many to be a nuisance species because they are an aggressive competitor with native birds for nesting habitat.

In many other parts of the world the house sparrow has been in decline since the 1970’s. They are even considered an endangered species in the Netherlands. Similar drops in population have been recorded in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Italy and Finland.

In rural areas, changes in farming practices are thought to have affected house sparrows. But in urban and suburban areas the causes have been more complex, with everything from cats to air pollution and pesticides being blamed.

House sparrows avoid predation by foraging in small flocks so that there are many eyes watching out for potential predators. However I’ve witnessed several species of hawks and owls feeding on sparrows.

At the feeders you will see the House Sparrow eating mainly sunflower seed, millet and cracked corn.  

Related Articles:
- Why should we care about birds? http://goo.gl/4iD8a
- How to get rid of sparrows http://goo.gl/9tAwkY
- How to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count http://goo.gl/Bc2uGD
- Book Recommendations for Michigan Birdwatchers http://bit.ly/x5t2gv
- Most common winter birds in Michigan http://bit.ly/ywWdfL

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