House Sparrows

A Male and a Female House Sparrow
A male and a female house sparrow

Spotting a house sparrow

The male house sparrow has a grey cap and black bib. Females and young house sparrows are brown. You’re most likely to spot a them in your garden in late spring and early summer. The population is in decline in the UK. In the last 40 years it is estimated that numbers have reduced by 71%!


They nest in holes or crevices in buildings and in bushes. You may even spot them nesting in the eaves of your house! They’ll nest from April to August with both parents raising their young. The female will lay between three and five eggs and during the breeding season they will raise up to three broods.

They’re noisy and sociable, living together in colonies with a life span of around three years.


They eat seeds, buds, grains, nuts and scraps. They feed their babies on invertebrates. If you have a bird table or feeder you may spot them coming to visit. In the winter they move to farmland and grassland to find food.

Did you know…

There are two types of sparrow in the UK – the house sparrow and the tree sparrow. You can tell the difference between the males by looking at their heads. House sparrows have a grey patch on their head and tree sparrows have a brown top,

Feeding House Sparrows

House sparrows are not fussy eaters! Leave out sunflower hearts, high energy seeds, peanuts, suet and even kitchen scraps on your bird table.

Click here for our guide to making a fat and seed ball.

Nest Boxes

Nest box for garden birds in the UK

House sparrows will use a nestbox with a small home (of about 32 mm).

If you have several nest boxes close together you may find they are all filled with house sparrows as these birds live in colonies and like to nest close to each other.

Visit an RSBP Reserve

Visit a nature reserve

Visit somewhere with loads of birds! There are hundreds of nature reserves – find one near you on the RSPB website. (Takes you to an external site).