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House Sparrow

House Sparrow
Photo Information
Copyright: Hilary Wilkinson (Hil) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-04-30
Categories: Birds
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50
Exposure: f/4, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-05-03 10:47
Viewed: 3400
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I'm ashamed to say that my fence really need painted if not replaced, but the sparrows seem to like hoping along it as there is a bush at each end for security. Thanks for veiwing and thanks for all the kind comments about my previous posts.

House Sparrow

The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a member of the Old World sparrow family Passeridae, and is, somewhat controversially, considered a relative of the Weaver Finch Family. It occurs naturally in most of Europe and much of Asia. It has also followed humans all over the world and has been intentionally or accidentally introduced to most of the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, New Zealand and Australia as well as urban areas in other parts of the world. It is now the most widely distributed wild bird on the planet.In the United States it is also colloquially known as the English Sparrow to distinguish it from native species.

Wherever people build, House Sparrows sooner or later come to share their abodes. Though described as tame and semi-domestic, neither is strictly true; humans provide food and home, not companionship. The House Sparrow remains wary of man.


The male House Sparrow has a grey crown, cheeks and underparts, black on the throat, upper breast and between the bill and eyes. The bill in summer is blue-black, and the legs are brown. In winter the plumage is dulled by pale edgings, and the bill is yellowish brown. The female has no black on head or throat, nor a grey crown; her upperparts are streaked with brown. The juveniles are deeper brown, and the white is replaced by buff; the beak is dull yellow. The House Sparrow is often confused with the smaller and slimmer Tree Sparrow, which, however, has a chestnut and not grey crown, two distinct wing bars, and a black patch on each cheek.

The House Sparrow is gregarious at all seasons in its nesting colonies, when feeding and in communal roosts.

Although the Sparrows' young are fed on the larvae of insects, often destructive species, this species eats seeds, including grain where it is available.

In spring, flowers especially those with yellow colours are often eaten; crocuses, primroses and aconites seem to attract the house sparrow most. The bird will also hunt butterflies.

The Sparrow's most common call is a short and incessant chirp. It also has a double call note phillip which originated the now obsolete name of "phillip sparrow". While the young are in their nests, the older birds utter a long churr. At least three broods are reared in the season.

The common, but declining House Sparrow was surprisingly the most common garden bird in 2006, calculated by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)


The nesting site is varied; under eaves, in holes in masonry or rocks, in ivy or creepers on houses or banks, on the sea-cliffs, or in bushes in bays and inlets. When built in holes or ivy, the nest is an untidy litter of straw and rubbish, abundantly filled with feathers. Large, well-constructed domed nests are often built when the bird nests in trees or shrubs, especially in rural areas.

The House Sparrow is quite aggressive in usurping the nesting sites of other birds, often forcibly evicting the previous occupants, and sometimes even building a new nest directly on top of another active nest with live nestlings. House Martins, Bluebirds, and Sand Martins are especially susceptible to this behavior. However, though this tendency has occasionally been observed in its native habitats (particularly concerning House Martins), it appears to be far more common in habitats in which it has been introduced, such as North America.

Five to six eggs, profusely dusted, speckled or blotched with black, brown or ash-grey on a blue-tinted or creamy white ground, are usual types of the very variable eggs. They are variable in size and shape as well as markings. Eggs are incubated by the female. The House Sparrow has the shortest incubation period of all the birds: 10-12 days and a female can lay 25 eggs a summer in New England.

Notes from Wilkipedia.com

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nglen, iris, Alex99, jaycee, Argus, jconceicao, gracious, NinaM, dB_grafix, gannu, hester has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-05-03 10:54]

Hi Hilary. Firstly thanks for the interesting notes . We dont seem to have any Sparrows in the garden this year i think the Dunnocks have taken over. You have good deatil and colour. Well done TFS.
PS Dont replace the fence, plant a hedge instead.

  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-05-03 10:54]

Hi Hilary,
This male sparrow is a beauty.
i have a family here in my wife right now building up their home and another one busy flying up and down carrying food for its little ones.Good details and wodergul greenery around.
very well done.
TFS & Cheers

Hello Hil
Second only to Robins the House Sparrow is my favourite bird.
Your capture of him is amazingly sharp considering you took it through a window..(I will paint your fence if you clean my windows!!)
You have got him in a perfect proud pose with a lovely background..Perfect Work.
Have a great weekend and dont forget the race starts at 8 tommorrow.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-05-03 11:04]

Hi Hilary,

A lovely little House Sparrow - guess they look exactly the same the world over. Wonderful pose and he has such a dreamy expression. Nice colors and details and a lovely setting. Just had my wall painted last month!


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-05-03 12:22]

Hello Hil,
This fine capture of a cock House Sparrow draws the attention away from the flaking paint on the fence that it is on. This one is in prime condition and you show him from a fine POV with good sharpness and contrast against the OOF leafy Bg.
Thanks for sharing this beauty and have a good Sunday,

Hi Hilary,

Excellent composition.Beautiful colours with good sharpness.

Hello Hilary,
Nicely captured on this House Sparrow!
good head on pose of him in fine sharpness, good colour and detils!
the exposure and focus is spot on
well done

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-05-03 17:24]

This is such a romantic picture, totally out of the 60's! I love it, and your fence looks great with the chipped paint, it makes your picture more romantic among the greeneries all around. I really like your composition too, with the bird's bill against the side of the frame, it is original and well seen. The bird's pose looks a little like he is teasing you and the lens. Superb, thank you!


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-05-04 0:43]

Hi Hil.
What a cute sparrow you have pictured. I like the scenery a lot too. Bird glance into TN community is also very impressive. Well detailed trees create a wonderful BG for excellently reproduced main hero. Well done and TFS.

Hi hil,

Beautiful capture from this bird,


Hello Hilary.
What I like especially about this photo IS the old paint and weathered wood.
It compliments the sparrow well.I get a lot of these birds around my house too, and always take the time to photo them.
Too bad I don't live close, or I'd build you a new fence...but keep some of the old somewhere else for photo ops.

Hello Hil,
very nice sparrow perfectly photographied with splendid colours and great focus,
excellent post,

Well done particularly since it was taken through a window. WOW!
My windows are entirely too dirty to attempt such a thing. ha ha

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-05-04 6:31]

Hello Hil, Lovely composition and presentation. The picture is sharp and also the focus. Lovely view and pose of this bird adds beauty. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-05-04 13:32]

Lovely image of this Sparrow, Hil!
Great composition and eye-level POV.
Decent light and colours.
Sharp and crisp.
We've only had a few of these birds this year... last year we had loads! Maybe it's the Dunnocks that have taken over like Nick said...

Great work!

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-05-04 23:00]

Hi Hilary,
Splendid shot of this cute looking House Sparrow. Very impressive sharpness, colours, lighting and exposure levels. I like the pose captured here and the natural surrounding. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-05-12 10:55]

Hi Hilary

These nest in my garden and they are as cheeky as you have made this one look. I love the alert and curious pose. Nicely framed, sharp and perfect POV



  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-05-24 19:27]

Hello Hil

House sparrows are lovely little birds and you have captured and composed this one very well.
The lighting is very good.
Good focus and details.
The colours are vibrant.
Excellent pov and dof.


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