House Sparrow

Irish Name: Gealbhan binne
Scientific name: Passer domesticus
Bird Family: Sparrows
Conservation status


Resident. One of Ireland's Top 20 most widespread garden birds.


Sturdy relative of the finches, with large head and bill. Dark brown upperparts with heavy dark streaking, grey underparts. Male has chocolate brown nape, grey crown and large black bib. Female plainer with a buff stripe extending back from eye. Active and noisy around farms, urban areas, parks and gardens. Hops along ground, frequently flicking tail. Sometimes in large flocks, though numbers have declined in recent years.


Various lively "chirrup" sounds and a more grating "churrrr".


Seeds, split grain, buds and some insects, especially when feeding young. Will use peanut feeder and takes all kinds of scraps from bird table.


Breeds throughout Ireland - mainly around farm buildings and built-up areas. Nests in cavity in building, especially under eaves or holes formed by missing brickwork. Will use nestboxes. Has declined in recent years - in some areas this may be due to lack of nest sites.


Undertakes only minor movements during the year.

Monitored by

Countryside Bird Survey & Garden Bird Survey.

Similar Species

Tree Sparrow

Irish Name:
Gealbhainn crann
Scientific name:
Passer montanus
Bird Family: