Passer domesticus | House Sparrow | Gealbhan Binne



Conservation status

BirdWatch Ireland's Countryside Bird Survey which monitorings breeding birds shows  that the breeding population of House Sparrow in Ireland has experienced a 39.6%  increase over the 10 years between 2006 and 2016, and an ever larger 82.2% increase  since 1998.

Species Biology


Usually seen in small noisy family parties close to houses and farmyards. Its overall appearance is grey brown with darker brown streaks on their back. Males have white cheeks and a distinctive black bib under their bill. Females have a plainer dull brown plumage.

Preferred environment

BirdWatch Ireland reports that House Sparrow is one of the top 20 most widespread garden birds in Ireland. It breeds around buildings, houses and farmyards, and small flocks can be found almost anywhere around the country. It is really only absent from the most treeless of habitats, such as blanket bogs in the west of Ireland and on uplands above the treeline.  


It generally feeds on insects, seeds, grains and other scraps of food, particularly in gardens and farmyards.  In winter they are regularly seen feeding on peanut feeders. 

Similar species

House Sparrow is superficially similar in appreance to Tree Sparrow. The latter has much warmer coloured plumage and has a distinctive black dot on its cheek.  Tree Sparrow is also a far less common species.


World distribution(GBIF)

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2023

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