What’s This Post About?
House sparrows are tiny birds that are commonly found in many regions around the globe. They might be widespread, but they are not one of the most loved and welcomed birds. This is because house sparrows cause chaos wherever they go.
Sparrows are small birds ranging from 4 to 7 inches in length. They are omnivorous and consume plants, insects, seeds, and berries. House sparrows prefer nesting in buildings or structures such as roofs, signboards, or even within tree holes.
Sparrows stay in nests to take care of their young, which tend to leave the nest 15 to 16 days after they have hatched. The parent sparrows stick with them to feed and protect them for five weeks from the time they are born. Adult sparrows then leave the nest as soon as their babies learn how to fly.
What Are the Nesting and Mating Habits of Sparrows?
To learn about the sparrow's nesting period, it is crucial to gain insights into their lifestyle and habits.
House sparrows are social birds who feed in flocks. They are commonly observed in backyards near birdfeeders, in parks, footpaths, etc. They do not fear humans and hence prefer living in crowded places.
The male and female sparrows have different plumage. The female is a lighter brown, while the male has sharp brown streaks over its wings and back.
House sparrows are small birds that are frequent visitors to backyards. The male house sparrow has a grayish plumage and crown with brown wings streaked with black lines and a black throat. The bill and breast turn black in summers and winters, and the breast is gray while the bill is yellowish.
Female sparrows, on the other hand, have a plain white breast and a brown crown. They have a broad, black buff line over their eyes. The bill of both sexes is short, strong, and pointy.
The courtship process begins in January and continues till July. The male sparrows are dominant and protective about their nests, so they play a significant role in defending their nesting sites.
The male bird chirps from their nesting site to attract female birds. As soon as they spot a female sparrow, they chirp faster and louder. Sometimes the male sparrow might follow and hop around the female sparrow to gain her attention.
Once a male sparrow can attract a female partner, the mating process begins. Mating takes place from March to early August, which is also known as the breeding period. The house sparrows pair together near their nest site to mate.
During the spring and summer seasons, sparrows use their nests for raising their babies. They produce up to four broods per season.
The nest-building activities commence from February and last till May. Before breeding, both bird partners build the nest together. The nest is the shape of a sphere and is made out of coarse dried vegetation, twigs, paper, leaves, grass, straws, and any other similar material.
The inside of the nest is lined with soft grass or feathers to make it a warm comfy space for the birds to sit in and lay eggs.
The female sparrows start laying eggs seven days after the nest is fully built. House sparrows usually lay four eggs in one nest, but they can rise to seven eggs in some cases.
The eggs are of a dull brown and white shade covered with brown speckles all over. Female sparrows are responsible for incubating the eggs in the nest. Incubation lasts for 12 days, and the babies leave the nest 16 to 17 days after hatching.
Adult house sparrows feed and protect the young birds. After the birds have fledged the nest, male birds continue to provide the fledglings while the female sparrows start the next brood.
How Long Do Baby Sparrows Stay in the Nest?
Babies go through multiple stages of growth till the time they're ready to leave the nest.
Baby sparrows stay in the nest for approximately 8 to 10 weeks. After that, they are dependent on their parents until they can hunt for food and protect themselves from predators independently.
Let’s discuss the baby sparrow’s journey from when it enters the nest as an egg till the time it grows into a fledgling ready to leave the nest.
Sparrows are small birds that belong to the Passeridae and Emberizidae families. Between May and September, female sparrows lay four to six eggs in one nest. Both the male and female parents incubate the egg for approximately fourteen days which is when the eggs might hatch.
The main predators of a house sparrow are cats, raccoons, snakes, and squirrels.
When a baby sparrow hatches, it is completely helpless. They are dependent on their parents to feed and guide them. Both parents then take care of their babies and feed them until they are six weeks old. Most hatchlings are featherless and require to be fed every 15 to 20 minutes until they sleep.
Some baby birds push their siblings out of the nest while the strongest one survives.
From hatchlings, babies transition into fledglings that are still found in the nest. When young birds turn ten days old, they are called fledglings. This is because, at this point, they start to grow feathers and may also fall out of the nest while learning how to fly.
The mother still feeds and looks out for its young until it learns how to fly correctly. The ‘fledgling’ period lasts for 12 to 19 days.
If you find a baby sparrow fallen out of the nest, leave it alone for some time; its parents will rescue it. If not, then hold it gently and keep it in a warm place till it's healthy again.
Baby sparrows can fly by the time they enter their third week. However, even at this stage, they do not leave their nest as they are still dependent on their parents to provide them with food. At this phase, the young require extra nutrients and strength to fly.
This process continues till the young enter their sixth to eighth week. Then, once they learn how to fly without crashing, they are independent enough to live outside the nest.
DID YOU KNOW?
When baby sparrows are learning to fly, they are at a stage where they are very vulnerable to predators and are prone to die.
At this stage, baby sparrows have acquired the skill to fly around and search for food independently. This is when they finally leave the nest.
These sparrows leave the nest and are ready to seek partners to make another nest of their own. Once the sparrows grow, they find their partners, build a new nest with them, and mate under the snow.
Sparrows rarely migrate in the winter season and can be found eating nuts and seeds in the cold.
Can I Remove House Sparrow Nest Once It Is Free of Birds?
Examine the right time to take a nest off your roof via some simple tips and tricks.
As per law, you cannot remove, destroy, or damage an active nest, but you can get rid of it once it is clear of any eggs or birds. If you come across a nest with baby birds in it or unhatched eggs, then it is best to leave it alone until the young leave the nest themselves.
Keep reading to know about the dos and don’ts of removing a sparrow nest. If you need to remove sparrow nests from your house, the following are some simple steps you should follow.
Wait until the nesting season is over to remove any bird's nest from its place.
Do Not Welcome Sparrows Within Your Premises
Your first step should be that you avoid attracting house sparrows to your backyard. Next, remove any food sources from your place, even if it is from a trash can; these scrapes of food can invite them to nest in your backyard.
If you want to place bird feeders and birdbaths in your yard, try to hang them up in places at a distance from the main construction. Try to put out small amounts of food for birds throughout the day and clean any spilled-out seeds that you see around your yard.
To prevent sparrows from nesting in gutters or vents of your house, you can install gutter guards and vent covers to keep the place secure and nest-free.
Lastly, you can use visual repellents such as owls, hawks, and snake structures installed in your backyard, on the roof, or next to windows to scare the sparrows away.
The best time to get rid of a nest is at its initial stages. If a bird notices that the nest is removed before it is completed, it will move out to another space. Try to take preventive measures at the same place next year.
Look Out for Any Activity
Make sure to check up on the nest at different times of the day to see if a bird comes back to it or not. If the nest is inactive, then you can relocate it or eradicate it.
Suppose eggs are present in a nest without the parent birds. That still does not mean that you can remove it. The sparrows may have left in search of food or to allow the eggs to cool down.
Wait till the end of the nesting season till you plan to move the existing nest elsewhere.
Let The Nesting Period End
The end of the nesting period is the best time to get rid of a sparrow’s nest. House sparrows mainly raise 3 to 4 clutches in a season. If you want to remove a house sparrow’s nest, you should study its nesting patterns and periods to be well aware of.
Once you have explored the time duration, you can remove the nests accordingly.
House sparrows tend to reuse a nest. As a result, they may return to the exact nesting location the next time they visit your area. Hence, it would help if you were prepared beforehand and consider employing specific preventive measures to restrict them from nesting again.
After considering all the steps mentioned above, you need to learn about the legal implications, if there are any. First, make sure that the nest removing process is legal in your state. If it is legal to remove an inactive nest, go ahead and carry on with the removal process.
Sparrows may nest within your property and attract pests and fill the place with bird poop, which consists of dangerous pathogens for human beings.
It is essential to wear long latex gloves, full sleeves, pants, and a respiratory mask before you move on to removing the nest. This is a vital step, necessary for your protection.
If you have examined the nest thoroughly and are sure that there are no eggs present, spray the nest with an antibacterial spray. Once the spray dries off, start removing the nest and dispose of it in a sealed bag or container.
Clean the place where the nest was correctly built, ensuring it is free of any pests, dirt, or smell. Next, remove your gloves and dispatch them in a sealed bag. Lastly, take a shower, wash your hands, and clean your clothes immediately with hot water.
If you cannot remove the nest yourself, it is always best to call a professional for help. Contact someone who can help you with disposing of the perch correctly so that no future problems occur.
House sparrows are small but aggressive, which can be a source of problems for many. These birds mate, build a nest in pairs, lay eggs in the nest, and provide for their young together.
It takes up to 10 weeks for the egg to transition into a full-fledged house sparrow, and this is when they can safely leave the nest.
Suppose you face trouble removing a sparrow or its nest from your property, then it’s best to call for experts. A bird nest can attract pests and dirt that may make the place unhygienic for any human to live in.
Sparrows are common birds that you can observe and take note of readily. However, if you are interested to learn more about sparrows and their Albino form, you can read this post .
Curious to learn about the delicate white tufted bird? A fascinating treat to view, it's one of the rarest birds! Explore all about Albino Sparrows.
David A. Swanson
Bird Watching USA
My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!