|Color||Their fluffy feather can range anywhere from brown and grey, peppered with white spots on their back. Their chests are whitish-gray and their wings have stripes of lighter and darker colors. Males can be identified by the grey crown on their heads and black throat ‘bib’.|
|Size||They are 4-7″ in length and weigh between .9-1.1 oz. Their wingspan is 7.5-10″.|
|Appearance||Sparrows are generally small and plump with shorter tails, the head appears to be rounder with a more stout and powerful bill.|
They eat mostly seeds and a great majority of their diet is weed and grass seeds or waste grain. Sparrows will also eat some insects, especially in summer. In urban surroundings, they will scavenge crumbs of food left by humans.
Habitat & Nesting
The male and female sparrows use grass, twigs, paper, garbage and debris to weave into nests. These nests can be found in tree cavities, window sills, ledges, crevices, corners, beneath air conditioner window units, in chimneys and just about any other place they can find the space. Nests are used year after year, resulting in a build up of nest debris and insects associated with their nests.
Mating & Life Cycle
In courtship, male displays by hopping near female with his tail raised, wings drooped, chest puffed out, bowing and chirping. The breeding season runs through Spring and Summer and up to three broods of three to six greenish white eggs may be laid in this time. A 10-14 day incubation period is done by both parents. The young, fed by both parents, leave the nest about two weeks after hatching. Sparrows live for four to seven years.
Health Risks & Damage
Sparrows make their way into livestock food and water supplies, which contaminates both. The house sparrow is a significant pest to the food industry because of the risk of contamination from their droppings and the damage done to packaged goods. Both livestock and humans are in danger of contracting illnesses if they come into contact with sparrow droppings. Generally, the birds do not harm humans and are only considered a nuisance, but they may swoop to defend their offspring.
Nesting sparrows can be very noisy, especially since they strongly prefer to nest in or around buildings. Aside from the noise they make, their habit of packing nesting material in stove, dryer and fan vents and A/C and HVAC units create more serious problems. Dust, parasites and other things that cause health problems can be sucked into structures and spread into the air. Additionally, they often carry ticks, mites and other parasites that, given their nest-building habits, can transfer to people.
Prevention & Control
Excluding house sparrows from building nests in places they are unwanted is the best approach to prevention. Install covers over vents and screening over louvers before birds find their way inside. House sparrows will help themselves to food and dropped crumbs found outdoors. Promptly cleaning up is the best way to discourage visits.
Bird Control Services provide customized solutions to address bird concerns through removal, exclusion and deterrence. Factors which determine the best method of control include: area of application, bird species, location, access. Spikes, netting and electrical deterrents are the most commonly used solutions.
If issues with sparrows arise, count on a professional pest management service to take care of the problem knowledgeably and successfully. Bird services are limited to commercial clients.