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Conservation status: Red

Noisy and gregarious, these cheerful exploiters of man's rubbish and wastefulness, have managed to colonise most of the world. The ultimate avian opportunist perhaps. Monitoring suggests a severe decline in the UK house sparrow population, recently estimated as dropping by 71 per cent between 1977 and 2008 with substantial declines in both rural and urban populations. Whilst the decline in England continues, Breeding Bird Survey data indicate recent population increases in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.



Latin name

Passer domesticus


Sparrows (Passeridae)

Where to see them

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 them

All year-round.

What they eat

Seeds and scraps


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-5,300,000 pairs--




Jarek Matusiak, Xeno-canto

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