7 Fascinating Sparrow Facts You Should Know

Think sparrows are boring brown birds? Think again! Get the scoop on these familiar feathered friends with sparrow facts and statistics.

House Sparrows Are Not Native to America

House Sparrow (passer Domesticus)imageBROKER.com GmbH & Co. KG/Alamy Stock Photo
House sparrow

This one of our sparrow facts may surprise you. In 1851, house sparrows native to England were released in Brooklyn to control caterpillar populations. The rest is history—you’ll now find house sparrows in nearly every state in America.

Learn how to keep house sparrow nests out of bluebird boxes.

Benefits of Helping Sparrows

chipping sparrowCourtesy Martin Torres
Chipping sparrow

The Japanese folktale “The Tongue-Cut Sparrow,” first translated into English in 1885, features an old man who is rewarded after he shows a sparrow kindness.

Wren vs sparrow: what small brown bird are you seeing?

Sparrows’ Songs Changed

sparrow facts, White Crowned Sparrow, Feeding On Tumbleweed Seeds In The Snow. Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, Usa.Bill Gorum/Alamy Stock Photo
White-crowned sparrow

During the pandemic, researchers found that white-crowned sparrows in San Francisco were singing 30% softer thanks to reduced city noise.

Learn what foods sparrows eat and how to attract them.

Humans Have a Sparrow Finger

Bnbbyc16 Jeff Weymier 001Courtesy Jeff Weymier
Clay-colored sparrow

People in Turkey refer to the pinkie or fifth finger as the sparrow finger because it’s so small.

These pictures will change how you look at sparrows.

Not All Sparrows Are the Same

sparrow pictures, where do birds go when it rainsCourtesy Karen White
Fox sparrow perching in the rain

More than 40 sparrow species call the U.S. and Canada home. Meet more types of sparrow birds that you should know.

House Sparrows Live Around the World

House Sparrow In WinterBill Koplitz/Getty Images
You can find house sparrows almost anywhere in the world.

House sparrows are so widespread that they are found on every continent except Antarctica—that’s six continents in total!

Listen for the sweet sounds of a song sparrow in your yard.

Different Sparrow Bird Families

sparrow facts, white throated sparrowCourtesy Stuart Fiedler
White-throated sparrow 

Two families share the sparrow name, but originate from different locations: New World (Passerellidae) sparrows native to the Americas and Old World (Passeridae) sparrows from Europe, Asia and Africa.

After you finish reading about sparrow facts, learn how to identify a white-throated sparrow.

Sources:

Kaitlin Stainbrook
Kaitlin Stainbrook has been writing about birding and gardening for nearly a decade. As the associate editor of Birds & Blooms magazine, she wrote and edited articles across a wide range of topics from houseplants to hummingbirds. She's worked closely with top birding and gardening experts and continues to learn everything she can about the natural world around us.