House Sparrows


I'm Debbie and I'm new to the forum. I study Marine & Natural History Photography at University College Falmouth. For my final year I have decided to base my project on the sadly declining House Sparrow and their relationship with humans ... 

I have done a so much research and photographic work on these species of birds but my question is, are they known to be aggressive in the UK? I have been reading about much trouble they pose on native species in the US and wondered if the UK have a similar situation with them?

I however have grown quite fond of the species and enjoy photographing them in a town called St Ives! Here are a couple of snaps:

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them?

-Rose Kennedy

  • Hi LoneSparrow. Lovely photos and it sounds like a really interesting project.  I am not aware of sparrows being a relatively aggressive species.  I've seen them squabbling and Ive seen them chase each other and other small birds away from a feeder but this is just normal pecking order stuff.  See what others say!

  • In reply to doggie:


    Thank you for your replies! I'm originally from Yorkshire myself, so also a northerner!

    Interesting about the theory of a new habitat with solar panels, I'll have a read about that. I've been reading so much about their decline and the many theories behind it. It's very sad actually.

    I was talking to someone in the US who actually builds sparrow traps, it's legal and encouraged. The behaviour of sparrows is so aggressive towards their native species such as the Purple Martin and the Bluebird and I wondered if they had this persona over here in the UK, I myself have never witnessed them become aggressive. Just curious if others had.

    Might go find some solar panels and see if there's any potential photography!

    Thank you! (:

    Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them?

    -Rose Kennedy

  • In reply to doggie:

    I have a group of between 5-10 sparrows that come every day and I have never seen them be aggressive towards other birds. They certainly squabble amongst themselves sometimes but in general they keep out of the way of all the other birds.

    My Flickr Photos

  • In reply to Birdie Wild:

    Hi Lonesparrow, I live in nottinghamshire now but am originally from Yorkshire too!  I've got lots of sparrows in my garden at the moment and I've never seen them be agressive towards any other species either.  I've seen a couple of the male house sparrows having a bit of a spat, chasing each other around, but haven't seen them doing the same to other species.  Here's one of my photos - a mixture of house and tree sparrows (with a blackbird thrown in for good measure!).  They all arrive together to feed off the seed on the lawn.

    Your course sounds really interesting by the way - great photographs.

    See my Flickr photos here


  • In reply to ChristineB:

    hi debbie and welcome from a fellow cornish dweller. st just in roseland. sparrow are the cutest. so much personality in a tiny bird.. i can have up to 20 birds at once in my garden and have 3 pairs nesting in my eves ( no solar panels) they chases eachother around and make plenty of noise but no really aggro. i also get doves, finches, buntings and crows visiting and their happy to share with everyone even the female blackcap..... and she hates everyone ;-)

  • In reply to flightybunny:


    Thanks for your replies! Christine, I love your Sparrow photograph and you're right, they are fascinating to watch and such characters! I can't help but capture it in my photos.

    I was asking about the aggressive behaviour because I'm looking at the decline of the Sparrow in the UK whereas in the USA they are over populated and pose great threats on fellow native species. So I was just asking if any one had seen behaviour like that in the UK.

    Flightybunny, you have quite a selection of birds visiting your garden, well done! I hope to live in Falmouth after Uni (why would I eve want to leave) and have a garden where I can make it as bird friendly as possible! :)


    Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them?

    -Rose Kennedy

  • In reply to LoneSparrow:

    hello, I am also new on here. I am from birmingham.  Went to St.Ives whilst walking the south west coastal path, not completed it yet, loved the place.  Got some house sparrows going in and out of the sparrow nest box. Hoping to see some young about this year.

  • Great pics Debbie.  Got three pairs going in and out of the sparrow terrace box.  Hopefully see some young this year.  They do sound like yobs when they are playing aroung in hedge.  I just hope they don't get to hot in the box though, it is in the sun all day,  never realised when moved in and put it up.

  • In reply to kev plotts:

    St Ives is a great place to be, especially for Sparrows, I only discovered sparrows were there because one of my lecturers who's a professional wildlife expert and photographer told me.

    I knew little to nothing about sparrows until I started my project but they have so much character, history and culture behind them that's it's been fascinating so far! All I knew about them was they they use to wake me up every morning, singing in my gutter!

    I'll upload more photos as and when I get them :)

    Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them?

    -Rose Kennedy

  • In reply to LoneSparrow:

    Hi Debbie. Nice set of images. but have a look at the nesting behaviour of some of these birds. Last year we had several House martins nest building on the farmhouse. where I was staying. I came down one day to find the chicks bodies laying in the yard. and the entrance of the House Martins nest had been enlarged. the house sparrow had moved in. it happen on every House martin nest build around the farm. Sparrows moved into and took over the nests. when I talked this through with the BTO guys. I was amazed to find out this happens a lot. and it seems to make little difference if the House Martin has chicks or eggs in the nest.