House Sparrows (Passer domesticus)
What Are House Sparrows?
The House sparrow is a familiar, small brown bird, commonly seen in both urban and rural areas across most parts of the British Isles. These birds are particularly common near human populations where they are excellent scavengers.
Sadly the species has experienced a dramatic population decline (down over 70%), which is why it is now Designated an RSPB Red Status species.
Despite the population drop of this species over the last forty years signs of a recovery have started to emerge in recent years.
The House Sparrow: key facts:
Colour – Sandy (female and Juveniles) to chestnut brown (males).
Wingspan – 20 – 26cm.
Flight Speed – up to 30mph.
Shape – Small but sturdy.
Size – Around 15cm (6 inches).
Weight (Mass) – 20-40g.
Leg Colour – Pale brown.
Beak (bill) – Black to ivory, diet-related.
Flight – Direct and flapping.
Sound – Noisy and gregarious.
Nesting – April to August in roofs, shrubs and bird boxes, etc.
Eggs – White, pale blue with darker spots – four to five in a nest.
Chicks – Chicks hatch within 15 days and leave the nest within three weeks.
Lifespan – 3 years
Presence – All Year
Diet – Diverse: Scraps, Insects, Fruit, Berries, and Seeds, etc.
What Problems Do House Sparrows Cause?
House sparrows are noisy, and experts nest builders. Nests can be bulky and encourage insect pests that will inevitably find their way into people’s homes, like moths and moth larvae via air vents and light fittings.
Externally they can be responsible for significant damage to grain processing and storage facilities and crops in the field.
House Sparrows & Structural Damage
In most cases, house sparrows will not cause structural damage themselves. However the waste from these birds “IS” a problem. The bulky nests build up over many years and removal is costly because of work at height access requirements.
The other problem sparrows often cause is blocked gutters and raining maggots! Yep, you read that correctly.
Birds that nest in gutters are prone to sudden downpours of rain that can drown chicks when the nests block gutters.
Dead birds then become infested with fly larvae and during the next bout of heavy rain the gutters overflow and down come the maggots. Gross but more common than you might think!
In the garden, house sparrows cause damage to trees and shrubs, eating buds and damaging yellow blossom and flowers.
Is The House Sparrow Noisy
Yes! Internally Sparrows nest close together, making plenty of noise and when outside, this amplified in gangs containing dozens of birds.
The House Sparrow & Disease
Sparrows love grains and this brings them into contact with our food in both the field and in processing and storage facilities.
Physical and microbiological contamination of food stocks occurs from direct contact and from droppings.
Diseases associated with these birds include salmonellosis, transmissible gastroenteritis, tuberculosis, viruses, parasites like toxoplasmosis.
Methods For Controlling House Sparrows
In recent years technology has been developed to provide some very unique and effective methods of control that we are helping pioneer in the British Pest Control industry
The most common control methods include:
Netting – Discreetly prevents birds from accessing sensitive areas.
Spikes – These prevent birds from landing safely.
Lasers – Visible light scares birds away.
Shock Strip – Prevents birds from resting on sensitive structures.
Bird Proofing – Designing out bird resting points and roosts.
Bird Scarers – Audible devices and materials to unsettle and scare birds.
If you live in our area, please get in touch for more information and direct assistance.
Local Places And Areas We Cover
Bristol – Clevedon – Portishead – St Annes – St Pauls – Bath – Sneyd Park – Fishponds – Eastville – Easton – Frenchay – Filton – Westbury – Stoke Bishop – Stoke Park – Southville – Long Ashton – Patchway – Bradley Stoke