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Sparrows: Passeridae

Behavior And Reproduction, House Sparrow (passer Domesticus): Species Accounts, Snow Finch (montifringilla Nivalis): Species AccountsPHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, SPARROWS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STA

SNOW FINCH (Montifringilla nivalis): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Sparrows are small plumpish birds with short, powerful bills and short tails. They have different shades of brown and gray on their upperparts that is sometimes streaked lightly to heavily, and white or buff under parts that are streaked with black or brown. Adults are 4.5 to 7.0 inches (12.0 to 17.5 centimeters) long and weigh in the approximate range of 0.4 to 1.9 ounces (10 to 55 grams).

They are found worldwide except for Antarctica, north and west Australia, and the most northern parts of Eurasia.

Sparrows are found in open habitats with scattered trees such as arid steppes (treeless plains that is often semiarid and grass-covered) and woodlands.

Sparrows eat seeds of small plants including weeds, seeds from cultivated cereals, tree seeds, small berries, invertebrates such as insects (mostly for the young), food left out for animals and livestock, and human food wastes. Sparrows that forage in flocks often alternate feeding and resting, probably in order to digest hard seeds.

People sometimes consider sparrows as pests when seeds of cultivated grains are eaten by the birds in large amounts. Otherwise, sparrows and people do not have a significant relationship.


About one hundred house sparrows were introduced into Brooklyn, New York, from Europe from the autumn of 1851 into the spring of 1852. The species quickly moved throughout the eastern United States and Canada.

Sparrows are not under any threat, however the house sparrow in western Europe has declined in large numbers.

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Animal Life ResourceBirds