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Sparrows: 15 Interesting Facts about Sparrow & 8 Effective Control Measures

Sparrows on the mountain ash branch
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Sparrow is a species of small Passerine birds, also acknowledged as True sparrows or Old world Sparrows. It originates from North Africa and is also found in Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and North America. Sparrows cannot be found in forests or deserts, unlike other birds. It prefers being in close association to human settlement, including urban and rural areas. They inhabit on ideal sparrow habitat nesting on buildings, roofs, and houses.

Sparrows are brown-grey chubby birds. They have short tails with stubby and powerful beaks. These are effortless flying birds with small size and bodies. These creatures make their way to the air creating a splendid sight to see. Sparrows are considered to be extreme vocal birds of all times. The sizes of these birds vary according to the region they inhabit. Sparrows are similar to other seed-eating birds except they possess an extra bone in tongue and an outer primary feather. On the other hand, cheeky sparrows have a diverse range of colors varying from sandy blonde to a rich red color.

15 Interesting FactsGroup of Tree Sparrows sitting on the fence

  1. Sparrows have both genders males and females which can be easily distinguished by feather coloration. Females possess brown backs with stripes while males possess reddish backs and black bibs.
  2. Sparrows are said to be the social creatures. They live in colonies which are commonly mentioned to as flocks.
  3. Sparrows are primarily carnivorous by nature i.e. they are meat eaters. They learn to change their eating habit more frequently while they live in close association with Sparrows primarily eat moths and also feed on small insects. They can also feed on seeds, fruits, and berries.
  4. Sparrows easily adapt to the life in human settlements due to the constant supply of food. These creatures learn to eat food which they are provided by the people when people build their bird feeders.
  5. They usually fly at the speed of about 24 miles per hour, in the case of emergency they can speed up to 31 miles per hour.
  6. Although sparrows are not considered as water birds, they swim at a very fast pace to escape from predators.
  7. Predators of sparrows are usually dogs, cats, foxes and snakes. The young new ones are an easy target for these carnivores.
  8. Sparrows are not included in territorial animals, but they are aggressively protective about their nests from other sparrows.
  9. Sparrow is considered to be a very small Its length can vary between 4-8 inches and weighs around 0.8 to 1.4 ounces. With such small bodies, they can easily fit into the small openings.
  10. It possesses a stout body with rounded wings. Its body is covered with brown, black and white feathers.
  11. Sparrows build their nests mostly under roofs, bridges or tree hollows.
  12. Sparrows are an apparently monogamous i.e. small percentage of their eggs contain DNA of both parents.
  13. Males have the responsibility of building the nests, and during the construction phase, they attempt to attract females if she is interested in further building and mating.
  14. Sparrows have several breeds in a single year. Female lays about 3-5 eggs for which the incubation period is about 12-15 days. Both parents look after eggs and chicks. Young birds leave the nest after 15 days from birth.
  15. Sparrows live for about 4-5 years in wild.

Most Common Types of Sparrow

The sparrows cover a wide range of small brown birds which are difficult to identify.

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1. White-throated Sparrow

They have a distinctive appearance with white throat markings and yellow lore. There are two adult variations referred to as white-striped and tan-striped forms. The white-striped ones have the black crown with white central stripes while the tan-striped on the other hand has a dark brown crown with tan-central stripe. These species try to pair with partners possessing opposite color morphology for breeding. White-striped birds are more aggressive in nature than the tan-striped ones when they are in their breeding phase. Song sparrows resemble tan-striped White-throated sparrows, but they are heavily streaked below without any yellow markings on the face. These creatures are famous for singing their pleasant chirp notes frequently, even during the winter season. They are found near the grounds mostly in woods, forest, and bushy areas.

2. House sparrow

House Sparrow belongs to the family of sparrows. The species is almost found in every habitat and climates, the sociable house sparrows are found in close association to humans. Italian sparrow is closely related to housing sparrows and Spanish sparrows as it is also found in the Mediterranean regions. The common sparrow in East Asia does belong to House Sparrow, but its cousin called the tree sparrow. Native sparrows of North America are not considered to be the House Sparrows. They have long, rounded tail which they push up and down during their fly. These species avoids being in deserts or forests and is found in almost all parts of the world. Female house sparrows are pale brown and grayish in color while males have bright brown, black and white markings. It prefers to eat seeds of grain, wheat and may feed on insects. Its predators include cats, owls, hawks and other mammals. It is maltreated as an agricultural pest, kept as a pet, used as a food item and indicates a symbol of lust, sexual potency, commonness, and vulgarity. They feed on millets, acorns and sunflower seeds along with small insects. They build their nests with coarse dried vegetation and then use the finer material like feathers, strings or paper for linings.

【Read more about House Sparrow】

3. Chipping Sparrow

It is a fairly tame species with it’s widespread mostly found in North America. They are very pretty species with a splash of colors. Summer chipping sparrows are black with a bright rust crown while winter chipping sparrows are brown with dark upperparts. There is two subspecies Eastern and Western chipping sparrow. It is partial migrant flying towards South during winters and again towards North during spring. They sing loud, trilling songs most commonly in spring. Chipping sparrows may appear similar to American or Field sparrows, but you can identify them with a gray rump as it flies. They build their nest in a shrub or a tree, their nests, are flimsily constructed that light can easily pass through them. They feed on seeds of almost all varieties and protein-rich insects.

Do Sparrow Cause Damage and How to Control?

Damages Caused by SparrowsBird dropping poop on woman's shoulder

  • The sparrows are a host of some parasites and diseases. They are the source of dissemination of diseases like Chlamydiosis, Salmonellosis, Mycoplasma diseases, protozoal diseases and internal parasites like roundworms and tapeworms.
  • Sparrows are recorded to possess bacterial pathogens which are common to humans like Salmonella and Escherichia coli. They serve as a reservoir host to transmit diseases to humans.
  • They also host avian pox and avian malaria which spreads to the native birds.
  • The sparrows are infested by a number of external parasites like mites, fleas or ticks.
  • Localized damage to the grain fields can be done by sparrows as the feed in large numbers over a small area.
  • Sparrows can damage the crops by feeding on seedlings, seeds, flowers and fruits.
  • They interfere with the production of livestock especially poultry by contaminating their feed.
  • Bird droppings can cause damage to the roofs as they are very acidic in nature. They may cause damage to the machinery like air conditioner equipment’s, industrial machinery and may pose a health risk to workers. They also pose dangerous health risks to workers.
  • Bird droppings can ruin plastics, chemical, and liquids when they are being manufactured.
  • They enter through broken or unsealed holes into the attics of houses, apartments, and buildings. They construct their nests in such places and ruin the whole area with their bodily wastes.
  • Sparrow’s nests may cause blockage of the drainage systems along with damage to the roofs.

【Read more about Attics】

How to Control Their Damage

Sparrows are quickly controlled by few methods like repellents, poisons, shooting, predators and nest destruction. We will discuss top 8 ways to control them.

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1. Audio Bird Deterrents-Bird B Gone Sonic Satellite Speakers

  • It includes a set of 2 speakers which covers a vast.
  • Helps in repelling the birds.
  • It is safe and easy to use.
  • Used for outdoor purpose.

2. Visual Bird Deterrent-Scare Eye Balloon Bird Repellent

  • The deterrent is made up of simple three vinyl balloons which move with wing and repels the birds, visible in range.
  • It has bright colors with holographic predator eyes. These products are mostly used in homes and gardens.
  • It is easy to use and highly effective.

3. Taste Deterrents-Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray

  • The spray contains a gentle formula with a unique taste.
  • It acts as a habit breaker.
  • Discourages the birds from picking and plucking their feathers.

4. Bird Net-Netting for Bird Poultry Aviary

  • The net consists of a black mesh with a nylon multifilament.
  • It creates a bird proof area to allow light to pass through and gives protection to your fruits and trees.
  • It is easy to install and remove.

5. Bird Spike-Bird B Gone Enviro-Spike Bird spike

  • Bird Spike is non-harmful to the birds and is humane. It is made up of plastic; with easy to install and adjust features. The spikes are arranged in assembly due to which they provide easy installation.
  • They are used in multiple settings like ledges, windowsills, I-beams, roofs and other alike places.
  • It prevents the birds from landing and roosting in protected areas.

6. Human Bird Traps-Songbird Essential’s Humane Dual Compartment

  • The trap is a two compartment sparrow trap which controls English sparrows and starlings while attached to Martin pole or place in an environment.
  • The trap quickly closes the lids on the two-sided.
  • It is rust proof and highly recommended for repelling the birds.

7. Bird-Shock Flex Track-Magic Tracks Bend

  • They are made up of stainless steel with braided mesh.
  • The product can be easily installed and connect to the charger units.
  • It is a low profile deterrent system which curves up and down, side to side repelling the birds.
  • It gives an intermittent shock which is painful but does not hurt the birds.
  • They are also used on ledges, roofs.

8. Bird Coil-Bird Repellent Coils

  • Bird coil repellent is made of stainless steel material.
  • It is versatile and easy to use.
  • The product is perfect for ledges, and it is invisible for short distances.
  • The coil is simply attached to the solid landing platforms. The function of the product is to destabilize the ledges causing the birds to shift from that site.
  • It’s clips are screwed or glued to the surface, easy installation.
  • The product is very useful for bird control and covers a large surface area.

Conclusion

Sparrows are small, plump birds. These species are intelligent, stubborn and resourceful. Their ideal habitat is around human-made structures. They sing in their chirping sounds. However, sparrows are a nuisance to the society as they live near humans. They cause diseases and damage to the environment by destroying the insulation leading to fire hazards as they live near humans. Sparrows are usually found in residential areas which may also result in noise pollution.

Nonetheless, they prevent insects from interfering in agricultural production. They can be stopped from causing unwanted damage and overtaking the properties by reducing their roosting and nesting sites. Your lungs and bare skin should be highly protected while removing sparrow droppings. With an integrated approach, you can also remove and trap sparrows with the tactics mentioned above which are effective in short term. Sparrows are considered to be the symbol of peace. Unfortunately many species of the birds have been labeled under the endangered list, but sparrows are not part of that list.

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