The house sparrow is one of the most charismatic house birds. The oldest wild house sparrow was found in Texas in 2004, 15 years and 9 months old. The longest lifespan of a house sparrow in captivity was recorded as 23 years.
So, how long do sparrows live? The common house sparrows have a lifespan of 3-5 years. However, some sparrows can live up to 9 years in the wild. The common cause of the short lifespan of wild sparrows are predators, diseases, and the environment.
Keep reading this article to know the lifespan of various sparrows, the most common region they are found in, and their common cause of death.
Lifespan of Various Sparrows
The lifespan of house sparrows is just 3 years but there are other sparrows that can live up to 20 years in the wild.
The lifespan of these sparrows also depends upon where they nest and how many attacks they encounter in their life.
|Name of Sparrow||Lifespan in Years||Region||Common Cause of Death|
|House Sparrow||3||North America||Predators, diseases, environment, humans|
|Eurasian Tree Sparrow||3||Europe and Asia||Contaminated ecosystem, outdoor cats, and Diseases|
|Cape Sable seaside sparrow||2-3||United States||Climate change, habitat loss, and predators|
|Wild Sparrow||13||Eurasia and Northern Africa||Climate change, habitat loss, and predators|
|Song Sparrow||3-5||North America||Window collisions, predator’s attacks, and insecticides|
|Bachman’s Sparrow||3||South-East United States||Climate change, habitat loss, and predators|
|Grasshopper sparrow||7||Texas, US||Contaminated ecosystem, outdoor cats, and Diseases|
|Harris’ sparrow||2||Northern Canada||Contaminated ecosystem, outdoor cats, and Diseases|
|Henslow’s sparrow||6||US and coastal marshes along the Atlantic||Contaminated ecosystem, outdoor cats, and Diseases|
|Italian sparrow||20||Northern and Central Italy, Corsica, and small parts of France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia||Contaminated ecosystem, outdoor cats, and Diseases|
|Lark sparrow||7||West and the Great Plains in prairies, grasslands||Outdoor cats and window collisions|
|Le Conte’s sparrow||4||Northern prairies and winters in the Southeast||Outdoor cats and window collisions|
|Lincoln’s sparrow||7||Alaska and Canada||Outdoor cats and window collisions|
|Nelson’s sparrow||7||Atlantic coast of Canada and Maine, central Canada||Outdoor cats and window collisions|
|Olive sparrow||6||Atlantic and Pacific lowlands of Mexico||Outdoor cats and window collisions|
|Rock sparrow||2-4||Western North Africa, Southern Europe, Siberia, and North, and central China||Climate change, habitat loss, and predators|
|White-crowned Sparrow||13||Northern Canada and the western United States||Outdoor cats and window collisions|
|Black-throated sparrow||5||Oregon and southern Idaho|
Deadly insecticide, outdoor cats, and habitat loss
|Brewer’s sparrow||5||Interior West of North America||Deadly insecticide, outdoor cats, and habitat loss|
|Chipping sparrow||9||North America||Deadly insecticide, outdoor cats, and habitat loss|
|Clay-Colored sparrow||5||Open Grassland and Moist Steppe Zones|
|Field sparrow||7||Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States||Deadly insecticide, outdoor cats, and habitat loss|
|Five-striped sparrow||4||Western Mexico and Southern Arizona||Outdoor cats and window collisions|
|Fox sparrow||9||Northern Canada and western North America||Outdoor cats and window collisions|
|Golden-crowned sparrow||10||Alaska and western Canada||Deadly insecticide, outdoor cats, and habitat loss|
What Affects the Lifespan of Sparrows?
The lifespan of sparrows is primarily affected by predators, diseases, injuries, and environmental changes. The use of excessive insecticides has also affected their lifespan.
Let’s go through the factors that affect a sparrow’s lifespan in detail below:
Even though sparrows themselves are predators to other small birds like bluebirds, they do have to save themselves from other predators.
One of the most know predators for sparrows is the cat. Other predators include crows, small hawks, crows, squirrels, and grackles.
Cats alone kill millions of birds and sparrows are their primary target in the United States. Crows, Small hawks, grackles, red and grey squirrels generally attack their eggs and nestlings.
The most common diseases that decrease the sparrow’s lifespan are coccidiosis and sarcosporidiosis (protozoan disease).
Sparrows live and travel in flocks and therefore, an outbreak of any disease reduces their population to a great extent.
Extreme cold weather also reduces their lifespan.
Window collisions are the major source of injuries to sparrows.
Millions of birds (including sparrows) in the United States die every year due to collisions to windows.
Today, most of the seeds are coated with neonicotinoids (a common pesticide used worldwide). A single seed coated with this pesticide can kill a sparrow and other songbirds. (Know What do sparrows eat?)
The other commonly used pesticide is imidacloprid that makes sparrows lose a lot of weight. Due to this, the sparrows don’t migrate and their mating stops, consequently causing a decline in their population.
Sparrows are adaptive to environmental changes, even though, the rise in global warming and unpredicted change in environmental conditions plays a major role in their population decline.
Sparrows are small songbirds, and they build their nests in any small hole they get. Humans kill these songbirds by removing their nests.
When humans frequently visit their nests, the parents go away from the nest leaving behind the young ones. These young sparrows can’t live without their parents and most often they die.
In the United States, killing sparrows is even legal in federal law. We love birds and therefore, we request these people to get rid of them rather than killing them.
Go through this article, “how to get rid of sparrows” to get rid of them without killing.
“According to a study, published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications, a one-foot rise in sea level would create a corresponding decrease of .35 percent of saltmarsh sparrows, whereas, 2-1/2 foot rise corresponded to a .56 percent decrease.
According to this study, the changes in sea levels wouldn’t impact the seaside sparrows, unless humans intervene.”
How can you reduce the risks to sparrows?
We can reduce the risk and increase the sparrow’s lifespan by discouraging predators, keep their feeders clean, avoiding the use of pesticides, and stopping them from flying into windows.
Sparrows are vulnerable to cats and most US families love cats as pets in their house.
Keep your cats away from sparrow nests and feeders. Always, monitor your cat when they go outside, if possible, attach bells to them, to know when they approach.
Squirrels, crows, and small hawks are also predators to house sparrows and therefore, provide a secure birdhouse for their breeding and keep them out of reach from predators.
Keep Feeder and Birdhouse Clean
Keeping bird feeders and Birdhouses clean reduces the spread of infections and diseases in sparrows. You can do it easily by soaking them into a solution of 9 parts of bleach and 1 part water. However, if you can’t do this yourself, arrange a professional to do it for you.
Always make sure to clean the birdhouse after the mating season.
The clean bird feeder can attract many more sparrows and other birds to your backyard and stop the spread of diseases in birds.
Don’t Remove Sparrows Nest
The house sparrows are small birds, and they don’t create a lot of nuisances. If they create nests anywhere in your house, don’t kill them or remove their nest suddenly.
If you see eggs in the nest, don’t touch them.
Better use this guide to get rid of them.
Don’t Use Harmful Pesticides
Pesticides are harmful to birds as well as humans. Using them in your backyard or seeds coated with pesticides kill sparrows slowly.
We are bird lovers and therefore, we don’t support the use of pesticides, insecticides, or any chemicals that can kill birds and harm nature’s ecological balance.
How Long Do Sparrows Live In Captivity?
Experts say that keeping sparrows in captivity increases their lifespan. They get protection from predators and therefore, enjoy a long life.
The longest captive sparrow lived around 23 years, on the other hand, the wild sparrow that lived for the longest was around 15 years.
It is true that keeping these songbirds in captivity, increases their lifespan and protects them from predators and other environmental factors. Still, we think that these birds play a vital role in balancing our ecosystem and therefore shouldn’t be kept in a cage.
The exact lifespan of sparrows can not be monitored until you keep them captive. So, finding how long sparrows can live can’t be found precisely. It depends upon several other factors, we can’t handle.
However, as bird enthusiasts, it is our responsibility to spread awareness.
Do sparrows return to the same nest?
Generally, sparrows don’t return to the same nest and build new ones. This also keeps them safe from predators.
In which weather can sparrows survive better?
Sparrows can survive better in summer as compared to winter. It becomes difficult for them to search for food in the bitter cold.
Can you keep a sparrow as a pet?
It is legal to keep house sparrows as pets. But other species of wild sparrows are protected by law. So, better check your state law before keeping them as pets.