What Do Sparrows Eat?

What Do Sparrows Eat?
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

What Do Sparrows Eat? Sparrows are small plump birds, which are brown or grey. They are classified as passerine birds. These birds commonly nest in buildings, and because of this, they are widespread birds.

Sparrows mainly eat seeds.

Sparrows can also eat insects and small vertebrates like lizards and frogs.

What Do Sparrows Eat?

Type of Sparrow Diet
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) Grains, livestock feed, seeds, discarded food, and insects.
Kenya Sparrow (Passer rufocintus) Small scraps, grains, seeds, and insects.
Italian Sparrow (Passer italiae) Arthropods, seeds, gravel, and shell fragments.
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) Seeds, grasses, weeds, waste grain, and a variety of insects.
Great Sparrow (Passer motitensis) Cultivated cereals, seed, and caterpillars.

Sparrows Diet by Types

True sparrows are classified in the Genus Passer. Many of the members of this genus are commonly found in the warmer climates of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Samples of the members of this genus will be explored in this section. Insight into their habitats will also be provided.

What Do House Sparrows Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Passeriformes Passeridae Passer Passer domesticus

What do house sparrows eat?

House sparrows commonly feed on grains, livestock feed, seeds, and discarded food for the ones found in the cities. They also feed on insects.

  • The house sparrow is notable for its chunky body, full chest, stout bill, large round head, and their short tails.
  • The house sparrow commonly inhabits urban, suburban, and agricultural areas.

What Do Kenya Sparrows Eat?

Kenya sparrow feeds on small scraps, grains, and seeds. The young members of the Kenya sparrow are fed on insects.

What do Kenya sparrows eat?
Source: Wikimedia
  • This sparrow is native to Kenya and Tanzania.
  • It is also referred to as Kenya Rufous-Sparrow.
  • It is found mostly in shrubland, grassland, and terrestrial lands.

What Do Italian Sparrows Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Passeriformes Passeridae Passer Passer italiae

What do Italian sparrows eat?

The Italian sparrow’s diet includes a vast range of arthropods, seeds, gravel, and shell fragments.

  • The Italian sparrow is found in wide distribution in Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, Greece, Austria, and France.
  • It mostly inhabits aquatic environments (marine and irrigated lands), pastureland, arable land, urban areas, rural gardens, plantations, grassland, forests, shrubland, rocky areas, and inland wetlands.

What Do Eurasian Tree Sparrows Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Passeriformes Passeridae Passer Passer montanus
What do Eurasian Tree Sparrows eat?
Source: Wikimedia

Eurasian tree sparrow consumes seeds, grasses, weeds, waste grain, and a variety of insects.

  • This species is found in wide distribution in Eurasia.
  • It inhabits farmlands, the open country, suburban areas, scattered bushes, trees, and woodland edges.

What Do Great Sparrows Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Passeriformes Passeridae Passer Passer motitensis

What do Great Sparrows eat?

The great sparrow feeds on cultivated cereals and seeds. The nesting birds consume animal protein drawn from caterpillars.

  • The great sparrow is widespread and found in abundance in South Africa, Botswana, Angola, and Namibia.
  • It inhabits shrubland and savanna grassland.

How Do Sparrows Hunt?

Sparrows may eat insects, and they use an array of strategies to find this prey.

  • One technique they use is ground gleaning.
  • Sparrows may even pounce on insects in the air, or they may visit lights or lawnmowers to find insects and then proceed to ambush them.

When Do Sparrows Eat?

Sparrows display diurnal activity.

  • Meaning, sparrows will tend to be active during daylight hours.
  • As such, most of them are likely to be found eating at this time.

How Often Do Sparrows Eat?

How often sparrows eat depend on different factors, one being age.

  • Young sparrows eat more frequently when they are featherless, and this is because of their growth needs. This eating behavior explains the reason why they are fed with more of animal protein obtained from organisms like insects and spiders.
  • As sparrows get older, their feeding frequency reduces significantly, and they also tend to consume more of a plant-based diet.
  • During winter, they spend much of their time resting in their nests to conserve their energy. They feed less frequently during this time.

What Eats Sparrows?

Sparrows (of different life cycle stages) are prey to many predators.

What eats Sparrows? Raccoons

  • When considering the house sparrow (the most common sparrow), known predators of its eggs and the young members of the species include raccoons, domestic cats and dogs, snakes, and northern shrikes.
  • Other predators include hawks, owls, and falcons.
  • Another natural event that causes the sparrow eggs to be fly from their nests is gusty winds during rainy summer days.

Where Do Sparrows Fit in the Animal Food Chain?

Sparrows are essential to the animal food chain as prey and predators.

  • They provide a good source of nutrition to organisms like snakes, owls, hawks, raccoons, dogs, and cats, and thus, promote their survival.
  • In their role as predators, sparrows feed on earthworms and different kinds of arthropods with the example of ants and crickets.
  • Hence, sparrows help keep the local population of these organisms under check.

In general, the continued existence of sparrows means that a balance of nature will continue to be present in their ecosystems. The vice versa is true if their numbers reduce because of reasons like habitat destruction and a reduction in their food source.

Cite this article as: "What Do Sparrows Eat?," in Bio Explorer by Jack Kirsten, May 4, 2019, https://www.bioexplorer.net/what-do-sparrows-eat.html/.

Key References

  • “What Will Sparrows Eat?”. Accessed August 31, 2019. Link.
  • “House Sparrow | Celebrate Urban Birds”. Accessed August 31, 2019. Link.
  • “IUCN Red List of Threatened Species”. Accessed August 31, 2019. Link.
  • “Food of Italian Sparrow Passer italiae nestlings in CentraI ltaIy – Avocetta”. Accessed August 31, 2019. Link.
  • “Italian Sparrow (Passer italiae) – BirdLife species factsheet”. Accessed August 31, 2019. Link.
  • “Eurasian Tree Sparrow | Audubon Field Guide”. Accessed August 31, 2019. Link.
  • “IUCN Red List of Threatened Species”. Accessed August 31, 2019. Link.
What Do Sparrows Eat?
5 (100%) 2 vote[s]


  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here