House Sparrow - Passer domesticus


A chunky brown-streaked bird. Males have a grey cap and black bib. Females are plainer and generally all brown.

Identification difficulty

Found from the centre of cities to the farmland of the countryside, it feeds and breeds near to people. Vanishing from the centre of many cities, but not uncommon in most towns and villages. It is absent from parts of the Scottish Highlands and is thinly distributed in most upland areas.

When to see it

All year round

Life History

Noisy and gregarious, these cheerful exploiters of man's rubbish and wastefulness have managed to colonise most of the world.

UK Status

The ultimate opportunist perhaps, but now struggling to survive in the UK along with many other once common birds. They are clearly declining in both gardens and the wider countryside which has earned them a place on the Red List. They eat mainly seeds where available but will happily eat insects and berries.

VC55 Status

Common as a breeding bird in Leicestershire and Rutland but has declined for several years.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map