Sparrows: Passeridae - Behavior And Reproduction
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BEHAVIOR AND REPRODUCTION
Sparrows are very social birds. They often are found in large flocks while searching for food and while roosting. Sparrows regularly dust themselves off in dirt and bathe in water, oftentimes with other sparrows. While roosting, the birds usually remain close together and keep in contact with each other through soft calls. Sparrows are not migratory birds, but do wander during the nonbreeding season in search of food. A few species that live in cold, high-latitude and high-altitude climates regularly migrate to milder climates in the winter.
Males usually call out to females at nest sites. Their territory is only the nearby area around a nest. The usually monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus; having one mate) breeding pair builds a domed-over nest with a side entrance. Nests are sometimes built close to other nests but others are more scattered about, with space between each depending on the number of good nesting sites. Nests are made with grasses and rootlets lined with fine grasses and long hair, often on the ground. Females lay four to six eggs that vary in color and shape. Several broods (young birds that are born and raised together) are possible each year for most species. Both parents take part in incubating (sitting on and warming) the eggs and taking care of the young. Young are born with down, but feathers develop quickly. The fledgling period (time necessary for young bird to grow feathers necessary to fly) is twelve to twenty days. The breeding pair keeps the nest throughout the year.