I don’t want to insult you. I am willing to accept you might know what a sparrow looks like. Brown and grey, live near houses, cheep quite a lot, eat seeds, that sort of thing. But not everyone does, and many people get them confused with dunnocks, so I’m going to a quick five point spotting guide anyway, you know, just in case.
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
- OK, let’s say you know roughly what you are looking for. Look at that.
- Does it have a chunky beak or a pointy one?
- If pointy, that’s probably a dunnock.
- If chunky, does it look like the picture above?
- If yes, that’s a male sparrow.
But what about a female sparrow? Well, that is a little bit trickier, and we’ll definitely get to them at some point, possibly when I do chaffinches. For now, just remember that house sparrows usually hang around in pairs and gangs so if there are some plainer, more browny ones hanging around with the male sparrows, they are probably female house sparrows.
If the grey is brown, it might be a tree sparrow, and if you are in Italy or Spain, you might be looking at a… well… let’s not run before we can walk, eh? Let’s not over complicate sparrows.