The Humble House Sparrow

I just love these birds. Often overlooked and underrated, their chatter fills the air in many streets and housing estates and life wouldn't be the same without them. This male is sitting in a particular bush in front of my flat in Lewes and several times a day is joined by up to about 25 other males and females who seeming have heated arguments and debates that would put the House of Commons to shame!

I will add a short video of their chatter in that bush in a mo'

They make a clumsy nest of dried grass lined loosely with feathers, in houses via natural gaps and holes under the eaves of our roofs. Their eggs are white with a great variety of mainly grey and black speckles and blotches but sometimes brown too. They will use nesting boxes if they are fairly high up and if you put several boxes together you may well have all of them occupied as theses birds love to be part of a close knit community.

Their relatives the Tree Sparrows are very scarce now in the UK but when I was a child I knew of two colonies near here. One was at the back of Eggington road, Moulsecoomb, Brighton in a small Elder bush and the other in Ivy on the side of and Ash tree at a farm on the main Brighton to Lewes road at Newmarket. They build perhaps 10 or 12 nest close together, also a messy dried grass nest with feathers inside and lay 5 to 8 white eggs with, in contrast to the House Sparrows, speckles and blotches of various shades of brown and perhaps a few grey or black. Interesting as the main difference between the two types of sparrow is that the house sparrow has a grey top to his head and the tree sparrow a brown one!

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