House Sparrow ♂

Passer domesticus

Photo © by Mike Plagens

This adult male was photographed at Phoenix, Arizona, USA. 29 Jan. 2009.

House Sparrows are abundant birds around human habitation and farm feeding operations nearly world wide. The photograph at left, for example, was taken in Australia. Native to Europe, they have been transported and introduced in many places around the world. Their existence in the Sonoran Desert is entirely dependent on human activity.

Urban areas in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Sonora support huge populations of House Sparrows, but well away from cities in the raw desert they are rarely encountered. Omnivorous and adaptable. They catch insects from around lights or pick smashed ones from the radiators of parked vehicles. Bird feeders, lawns, outside eatery tables and trash bins are all places they find food to eat. In nesting they are also partial to man-made structures where they use virtually any cavity they can find. They closely observe what other kinds of birds are doing to find food and then they follow suit.

The black chin and pendant denote the above specimen as a male. Females are less richly colored and lack the black chin and facial marks.

Year-round Resident - No Migration

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Sonoran Desert Field Guide
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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 7/1/2008,
updated 27 May 2015.