Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

January 1994


The house or English sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a brown, chunky bird about 5 3/4 inches (15 cm) long, and very common in human-made habitats. The house sparrow was first introduced in Brooklyn, New York, from England in 1850 and has spread throughout the continent. The house sparrow is found in nearly every habitat except dense forest, alpine, and desert environments. House sparrows are primarily granivorous. Breeding can occur in any month but is most common from March through August. House sparrows consume grains in fields and in storage. The house sparrow is afforded no legal protection by federal statutes because it is an introduced species.