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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

House Sparrow -- Passer domesticus

RANGE: First introduced from Europe in 1850, became established several years later. Now resident throughout most of North America, up to the edge of the tundra and south into Central America.

STATUS: Abundant.

HABITAT: Prefers to stay in the neighborhood of human dwellings; avoids large forests or other habitat far from human habitation. During winter, roosts in sheltered places such as open sheds and unoccupied buildings, under eaves or thick vines, or in a variety of holes and crevices.

NEST: Constructs nest with grass, string, and any locally available material, in cavities, crevices, open areas under eaves, on ledges of buildings, and in trees or shrubs. Nests in colonies in some areas.

FOOD: Consumes a wide variety of food, most of which is gleaned from the ground; also eats fruits from trees. Eats a variety of insects, vegetables, fruits, seeds, grains, and garbage. Is considered a pest around farms and feedlots, where it eats livestock feeds.

REFERENCES: DeGraff et al. 1980, Forbush and May 1955, Summers-Smith 1958, 1963.

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