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Interesting facts about sparrows

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We found 22 interesting facts about sparrows

An integral part of the human environment for thousands of years.

Until recently, the house sparrow was the most common bird in the Polish landscape. Although he is not a native inhabitant of Europe, he came to these places a long time ago and settled here.

Unfortunately, over the past twenty years the population of these animals has declined sharply, and the reasons for this are not fully understood. In general, we can say that these birds are not immune from the consequences of civilizational progress, which, on the one hand, cuts them off from food sources, and on the other, also limits the number of places they breed.

Although sparrows are still considered a species of least concern worldwide, it should be considered that without active protection these birds may become endangered.


The most characteristic species of sparrow is the common sparrow.


It is found in Europe, Asia and North Africa, where it came from the Arabian Peninsula and Asia Minor, where it originates.


They appeared in the vicinity of populated areas when agriculture developed, providing these birds with constant access to food.


The house sparrow was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758.


Among the common (house) sparrows, we distinguish several subspecies.


Sparrows weigh from 20 to 39 grams, and their body length is from 16 to 18 centimeters. The wingspan of sparrows is about 21 centimeters.


They feed on seeds, mainly grasses, cereals, rice and sorghum. Their delicacy is oat and wheat grains.


They are monogamous and can mate for several seasons.

The length of the breeding season varies depending on latitude. In Poland, breeding most often occurs from April to August. During this time they are able to produce 5 broods.

Sparrows can build their nests either in isolation or next to the nests of larger birds.

Their nests are most often located in the cracks of buildings, under tiles or gutters. They can settle in the walls of the nests of storks and herons and even such predators as white-tailed eagles and ospreys.

Sparrow nests most often have a spherical shape with one hole.

For construction, these birds use grass, wheatgrass, straw and even paper, rope or fragments of material. They use feathers to line their nest.

They can live in the nests of other birds. They often do this with swallows' nests.


The female common sparrow usually lays about 6–7 eggs, but this number varies with latitude.


The first and last eggs laid by a female sparrow are the smallest. In addition, the last egg is often unfertilized.


Sparrows incubate eggs for about 14 days.

After hatching, the chicks remain in the nest for another 14–17 days. After this time, they become independent, but their parents continue to feed them for another 2 weeks.

Both the male and female are responsible for feeding the young.


In our climate, sparrows are often found inside human buildings; some of them never appear in the natural environment during their lives.

In turn, in warmer climatic zones, sparrows are quite common outside populated areas.

Sparrows live in small groups and are social birds that sing at all times of the year.


Sparrows cannot fly and rarely fly for more than a few minutes.


The decline in the number of this bird is associated with the thermal modernization of buildings that limit its nesting sites, as well as a decrease in the availability of food in rural areas associated with an increase in grain harvest yields and dense storage in closed elevators.


In 1958, China announced a campaign to drive away sparrows as part of the "Four Plagues Campaign". Every sparrow they encountered was driven away.

The birds, unable to land anywhere and rest, fell from exhaustion. This led to a plague of locusts the following year, which, having no natural enemy, destroyed most of the crop. As a result of the damage, famine reigned in China for three years, killing an estimated 3 million people.

In the 90s, there was a sharp decline in the population of the common sparrow, so since 1995 it has been under strict species protection.


World Sparrow Day falls on March 20th.

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