|House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)|
DESCRIPTION: L=6.25" (16cm). Sexes differ. Breeding males have gray crown, black chin and bib, and gray cheeks, otherwise dark brown upperparts and light brown underparts. Females are overall brown with streaked back, unstreaked breast (unlike female House Finch), and wide, tan-colored stripe behind the eye. Call is a one or more chirps.
NATURAL HISTORY: Formerly called English Sparrow, the house sparrow was purposefully introduced to the United States (for its attractiveness and for insect pest control) in the mid-1800s, and it took only 50 years to spread across the U.S. The House Sparrow almost exclusively associates with humans and their livestock in the U.S. These are the birds that you see picking up crumbs in parking lots and restaurants. Diet, besides human garbage, includes blossoms, seeds, fruit, insects, spiders. Will use woodpecker cavities in saguaros as nest sites.