Is It a Sparrow?

Sparrow is something of a catch-all term for what experienced bird watchers call LBJs, or little brown jobs. The term covers more than 50 North American avian species that are five to seven inches long and a drab, brown color. Many of them have the word sparrow in their name, while others, such as buntings, juncos, and towhees, do not. The species that is the biggest nuisance for humans is the house sparrow. These birds are easier to spot than similar sparrows because of their portly appearance, with large chests, rounded heads, and short tails.

sparrow picture for identification purposes

Habitat & Diet

Sparrows can be found in nearly every environment, from the dry heat of deserts to the cool wetness of marshes and grasslands. They are also found in forests and urban areas. House sparrows, as their name implies, frequently impose on human dwellings, nesting in a home's various nooks and crannies. Mainly seed eaters, they will also feed on small fruits and insects, especially during warmer months when these food sources are plentiful.

Damage & Other Problems

The main problem with sparrows is their prevalence, which drives out other, more colorful birds. They hog feeders, bird baths, and bird houses. Homeowners have more specific issues with house sparrows, as their nesting habits are invasive and sometimes dangerous. House sparrow nests constructed in the exhaust vents of furnaces, dryers, and kitchens can create fire hazards. The exhaust pipes also act as amplifiers for the birds' early morning chatter, causing a rude awakening for residents. To appropriately identify and manage sparrow populations, contact the wildlife professionals at Critter Control.