Sparrows are some of the most prevalent birds in the United States. While they are essentially harmless, they can create a lot of damage to buildings and structures. If you have sparrow problems, there are ways you can protect your property. Learn all about these birds, including the different species of these winged pests you may find near your home or business and the options you have available to capture, trap, and remove sparrows from your property.

  • Sparrows are generally not territorial but will protect their nests from other sparrows

  • On average, their wild lifespan is around 4 to 5 years

  • Male sparrows are responsible for building nests, and the nest building is also used to attract a mate

  • They live in colonies that are called ‘flocks’ 

  • They prefer to live close to human settlements due to food availability

  • Naturally, they are carnivores, eating moths and insects, but can also eat seeds, berries, and fruit

  • They can fly at speeds of up to 24 miles per hour and even get up to 31 miles per hour in short bursts

  • Predators of sparrows include dogs, cats, foxes, and snakes 

  • House sparrows are capable of swimming underwater in order to move from one place to another, even though they are not water birds

While there are many different species of sparrow, the house sparrow, true sparrow, and Eurasian sparrow are the most common species in North America. Sparrows have been reported to carry diseases that affect humans, such as salmonellosis and West Nile Virus (via mosquitoes).

One of the most prevalent species of sparrow, the house sparrow, lives year-round throughout the United States. These sparrows are known to nest and live in cities, towns, suburbs, and farms. In rural settlements, they prefer to nest in buildings that are in close proximity to livestock. House sparrows are rare to find outside of human settlements in remote areas such as forests or grasslands.

What You Need To Know About The House Sparrow

House Sparrow
  • What do house sparrows look like?

    • Small in size, around 6.9-6.7 inches long

    • Male house sparrows have brown and black body feathers and also have gray heads, white cheeks, and a black bib on their front feathers

    • Female house sparrows have brown body feathers and gray underbelly

  • What do house sparrows eat?

    • Eat mostly grain and seeds

    • Can eat insects 

    • Will eat discarded food in urban settings 

  • Where do house sparrows live?

    • Nest in holes of structures (buildings, streetlights, signs, etc.)

    • Can build nests in vine-covered buildings 

    • Can nest in holes in the tree, but that is not very common for this species

What You Need To Know About The House Sparrow 

  • What are the signs of a house sparrow infestation?

    • Lots of bird noises and calls

    • Droppings

    • Visible damage to structures either from birds making nests or bird droppings

    • Lots of stray material and feathers are common near nesting areas

  • Why do house sparrows invade my home or business?

    • Availability of food, freshwater, and places for safe breeding

  • How do I get rid of house sparrows?

    • Contact a pest control professional

    • Attempt to use live traps 

    • Utilize different bird deterrents around your property or building, such as bird spikes or reflective 

Tips To Prevent The House Sparrow

While not native to the United States, the Eurasian tree sparrow was introduced in the St. Louis area of the Midwest in the 1800s and has lived there ever since. Unlike the house sparrow, the Eurasian tree sparrow prefers to live away from urban areas. It will be most commonly found in farms and lightly wooded residential areas of the Midwest regions of eastern Missouri, southeastern Iowa, and western Illinois. 

Eurasian Tree Sparrow

What You Need To Know About The Eurasian Tree Sparrow

  • What do Eurasian tree sparrows look like?

    • Small size, around 5.5-5.9 inches in length

    • Light-brown feathers on the head

    • Dark-brown and speckled black body feathers

    • White cheek feathers with a black spot

  • What do Eurasian tree sparrows eat?

    • Commonly eats grains, seeds, fruits, flowers, and insects

    • These birds often forage together in groups

  • Where do Eurasian tree sparrows live?

    • Most commonly nest in trees

    • Will build nests in buildings, bird nest boxes, fence posts, etc. 

What You Need To Know About The Eurasian Tree Sparrow

  • What are the signs of a Eurasian tree sparrow infestation?

    • Lots of bird noises and calls

    • Droppings

    • Visible damage to structures either from birds making nests or bird droppings

    • Lots of stray material and feathers are common near nesting areas

  • Why do Eurasian tree sparrows invade my home or business?

    • Availability of food, freshwater, and places for safe breeding

  • How do I get rid of Eurasian tree sparrows?

    • Contact a pest control professional

    • Attempt to use live traps 

    • Utilize different bird deterrents around your property or building, such as bird spikes or reflective

Tips To Prevent The Eurasian Tree Sparrow

When house sparrows become a nuisance, the right equipment and trapping technique will help you capture and remove them. Kness has a full line of control solutions for you to utilize to take care of your sparrow problems. 

Use a sufficient amount of bait and place it inside the trap. A pan of water in the trap is also recommended. Birdfeed placed inside the trap lures pest birds in. The walk-through design allows birds to walk in but not out easily.

Control 

Federal or state laws do not protect the house sparrow. Check for any local laws that may prohibit control by certain methods.

The systematic destruction of nests and eggs at 10 to 12-day intervals will reduce reproduction and eventually move the birds from a building. All nests that are knocked down should be cleaned up and destroyed to prevent the birds from reusing the material again and stop the spread of nest parasites.

Available from Kness

Kage All® Bird Trap Products Kage All® Bird Trap

Kage-All® Bird Traps humanely capture pest birds such as sparrows and pigeons for later release or relocation without causing harm to the bird. Kage-All® Bird Traps are simple and easy to use and can be used indoors or outdoors.

View Kage-All® Bird Traps