What Do Sparrows Eat? Everything About Sparrows Diet

If you are looking to attract some sparrows to your backyard then feeding them is the best way to do it. That’s just common sense. But you might be wondering what do sparrows eat. Sure, city birds will chow down on just about anything you throw at them. But, being a responsible individual, you can’t but help wonder what would be the right feed to use.  

Sparrows have a similar diet to pigeons. They eat cereal grains, oats, wheat, rice, corn which are cracked, and even dried insects. They will even help themselves to chopped vegetables and fruits if their other sources of food are unavailable. It might even include our food and leftovers as well.

But apart from all that, there are many other fruits and vegetables that sparrows can eat. And in this article, I’ll thoroughly mention all those things and much more so that you can make the best use of any food waste you have and also attract some sparrows to your home. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it. 

8 Foods That Sparrows Love To Eat 

Sparrows are omnivores. And as we’ve already learned in grade school, omnivorous means that they can eat both plants and animals. But even if they are omnivorous, these birds are predominantly vegetarians. 

Below I’ve put together a list of common diets that the sparrows would enjoy. So, if you’re going out on a morning walk soon, you can go ahead and prepare some of these foods for the sparrows to enjoy.


Just like all the other songbirds, sparrows also feed on grains, such as rice, wheat, soybeans, oats, barley, cracked corn, etc. They have precious small beaks. This means that they will most likely prefer to consume medium-sized corn. Make sure the corns are cracked before you decide to feed them.

You can easily access these foods from your humble kitchen. And if you can’t find any grains lying around in your home, just go to the nearby grocery store or a trusted online platform such as Amazon and get those organic blends of super grains. 


Seeds are also consumed by sparrows. If you happen to scatter plant or grass seeds on the ground, you’ll notice that sparrows eat them without any issue. They can be a variety of different seeds like sunflower seeds, black oilseed, canary seeds, etc.

So, if you’re about to go for a jog, you can take some fresh seeds to feed the sparrows. These can easily be found in nature. But if you feel like you won’t be able to gather them, you could try buying the kernels online. Chances are that the packeted ones won’t contain any shells so the sparrows won’t face any difficulty consuming them.


Nuts are a cult favorite. You can rest assured that the sparrows will love a variety of nuts. Almonds, peanuts, cashews, etc. These are high in protein and very edible for our winged friends. Plus, they are very edible for the sparrows as they don’t normally come in shells (except the peanuts). 

This is very important because sparrows have small beaks so they might choke on the nuts if they’re not able to swallow them properly. So, these soft-shells and shell-less nuts are great for their diet.

Even so, make sure you’re breaking the nuts apart before giving them any. But there’s nothing to worry about even if you don’t. Because sparrows will crush the nuts themselves before consuming.

Lastly, we have the most important part. Salt! Don’t feed the sparrows any form of salted nuts. Sodium Chloride is not good for their health so you shouldn’t have them take any salted nuts.


Fruits might not be their first choice of food but they do enjoy it nonetheless. Given that there are no better options available. It’s an occasional diet for the sparrows so you shouldn’t only give them fruits regularly. The most crucial time when sparrows might be consuming a wide variety of fruits is mainly in the autumn during their migration.

So, if you’re thinking of giving them fruits, then apples, cherries, plums, peaches, grapes, etc. are great for their consumption.

But as I mentioned before, sparrows have small beaks so they won’t be able to eat the fruit as a whole. So, you’ll have to chop them into pieces to make it easier for them to eat them.


Sparrows are similar to us when it comes to eating vegetables. Potatoes, peas, tomatoes, lettuce, etc. are some of the veggies they will consume if there are no better sources of food available.

So, to sum it up, don’t give them veggies if you have better food for them. Because vegetables are just at the bottom of the list. They will just consume them to stay alive.

And the same thing when it comes to chopping them up. They need to be cut into small pieces if the sparrows are to eat them properly.

Don’t just throw in cucumber and expect them to gobble it up immediately. An optional addition would be to place a bowl of water beside the food bowl so that they can drink from it and that will help them swallow the food.


Now insects are another source of protein for the sparrows. Caterpillars, bees, ants, etc. are normally fed to the baby sparrows while they’re still in the nest. But once they are old enough to be on their own, they can go back to their main diet of grains and seeds.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the insects are just for the babies. Many adults will also consume mealworms and some other worms. They can be fresh or even dried so how they are prepared is not a big issue.

Human Food

Even though human foods like bread crumbs, French fries, etc. are not their ideal source of diet, they will still consume them when offered. But bread crumbs and French fries are very dry. So, it’s advised that you soak them in water to make them more edible. 

But be very careful with the nestlings. The babies won’t be able to swallow them even if you soak the crumbs and fries in water. So, it’s better not to give them any. Why upset their stomach instead, right?


You’ll often see sparrows scavenging around your trash cans and other rubbish. They will go through scraps and leftovers lying around even though it might not give them the nutrients that they need. This occurs when they don’t have an abundant source of food available.

To make it easier for them to reach and access the scraps, you could try leaving the trashcans uncovered so that a flock of sparrows can help themselves to it. You might think that this is unnecessary, but if you simply think about it, they will just be helping to keep the surroundings clear of any unwanted scraps. It’s a win-win for all. No need to call pest control.


Now that we’re at the end of the article, you now know what do sparrows eat. The sparrow diet is not that difficult to understand in my opinion. And if you grasp it properly, you can help give them food for the entire year.

Hopefully, this blog helped you to comprehend their source of nutrients and you’ll be able to put this knowledge to great use. Thank you for your time and I hope you have an amazing day ahead!

Donald Bergeson

I have always been fascinated by the skill, strength, and beauty of birds.They help in maintaining a balance of ecological environment. At Best Bird Guide, I share all of my experiences and discoveries that I have got so far and inspire more devoted fans.

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