House Sparrow 

Passer domesticus

الدوري البلدي

Status: Common

The House Sparrow belongs to the Corvidae family in the Passerine order. It is 14-17 cm in size, 21-33 grams in weight and with a wingspan of 23-25 cm. The House Sparrow is one of the most common birds among the human environment. It breeds in holes in buildings, in attics, warehouses, in deserted Bee-eaters and Woodpeckers' nests and also in man-made nest boxes. The House Sparrow is considered to be a "dull" bird due to its general brown-gray colors. The under parts are pale while the upper parts are browner, especially among the males. The cap is brown and the cheeks are pale-gray. During the breeding season the males grow a black apron on their throats. The females are lighter without any unique coloration except for their pale eyebrow stripe. Their beak is short, stubby and strong like other seed-eaters. It's dark among the males and pale among the females. It feeds mainly on seeds but can also feed on insects, fruits, sprouts and food leftovers in garbage cans. The flight is somewhat rapid and at close range the sound of the wing beats can be easily heard. The House Sparrow is closely related to the Spanish Sparrow. The females are very similar and sometimes it's very hard to tell in the field which is which. But fortunately the sparrows are very social birds and anywhere there are females also males can be found which make the identification task a lot easier. The males of the Spanish Sparrow have reddish-brown cap and on the chest there is a very obvious black stripes pattern that goes all the way to the sides of the body. The House Sparrow got it name due to the chains of history that brought them to the human environment but still House Sparrows can be found in less crowded agricultural areas. The House Sparrow usually is not afraid of humans and one of its most famous hobbies is the group "sand bath" in which the sparrows clean themselves and get rid of parasites from their feathers. The Origin of the House Sparrow is probably from west Asia and the eastern areas of the Mediterranean; there it nested on rocks and trees. In these days it can be found all over the Pale arctic (except for the taiga and tundra areas), east to the oriental kingdom and south to the Ethiopian kingdom. The House Sparrow was also introduced to America, South Africa and Australia. In Palestine the House Sparrow is a very common resident bird.

Conservation status – least concern.

Migratory behaviour: Resident breeder

Sites: Beitillu, Umm at-Tut, Wadi Al-Quff