This cheeky bird is found wherever humans live. You are unlikely to find sparrows in the bush, in wilderness habitats or remote national parks. They like to build their nests under eaves, in nest boxes and old buildings and ruins. They seem quite tame and unafraid of humans. You can see them inside shopping malls and large halls. Some have even learnt how to get in and out through automatic doors.
Sparrows eat mostly seeds and berries, especially the seeds of weeds, grasses and ground cover. They also look for crumbs and leftovers where people have eaten. They are always on the lookout for their next meal.
They can raise up to four different broods a year and each clutch has between up to eight eggs. It takes the eggs up to 14 days to hatch. When they have young to feed sparrows will catch small insects for their chicks. Taking similar habitats the population of sparrows is denser in New Zealand than in Britain.
Older males sparrows have larger black bib patches. This is a signal to younger birds that it is a dominant male and they should avoid a fight. On the ground sparrows hop and they love to take dust baths. They like to stick together and if you see one sparrow there are likely to be many more nearby.
- Radio NZ Bird Watching – Sparrows
- NZ Birds Online house sparrow page
- Birding West Coast house sparrow page
- Wildscreen Arkive house sparrow page
- Oiseaux-birds house sparrow page
- What is a sparrow?
- All sparrow species together