House sparrow, Delhi’s official bird

This video is called House Sparrow Song.

By Melissa Mayntz:

House sparrows are often seen as feathered villains in areas where they are invasive, but many birders don’t realize that these plucky birds are in severe decline in their native Eurasian range. Fortunately, house sparrows will soon get more positive notice in India, where the species has been declared the official state bird of Dehli.

sic; Delhi

According to IBN Live, the choice was made in conjunction with a program to help conserve the species, and information about house sparrows will be incorporated into local school curriculums.

Businesses, educational institutions and individuals are being encouraged to participate in the “Rise for the Sparrows” program, a series of small changes that can make a big impact for the birds. Other native birds will also benefit.

India bid to save house sparrow: here.

36 thoughts on “House sparrow, Delhi’s official bird

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  5. “Save the House Sparrow, Cape India,” @ dr. Sandeep Jain (only on Facebook)


    House-Sparrows, once the most widely found bird, are regarded as the indicator of a healthy environment. But, unfortunately, there has been a rapid decline in the number of common house sparrows. House Sparrows, owls and vultures top the endangered birds’ list in India. House sparrow (Passer domesticus), which has been part of our culture and stories (told by the …Grannies and parents to the kids), is missing from surroundings. House sparrow, nested on almost each house, on cups of fans, in roofs with wooden planks. In neighbouring Bushy hedges they lived in colonies and survived on food grains and leftovers, worms, caterpillars, termite is now a disappearing species. The sparrow is a species that has evolved with humans and is always found in and around human habitations. It can not be found on trees, in jungles, deserts or places where humans are not present. In South India, people even considered it a good omen if the house sparrow built a nest inside their houses under the rafters or a niche in the wall. Such was the bond between man and sparrow that it came to be classified as a domestic species with the scientific name Passer domesticus.
    The decline of house sparrows is a global phenomenon and the species is declining in most of its natural range. The decline is visible in countries like the UK where they have historical statistical data with a decline rate as high as 67% because of which its conservation status has been changed to a red listed species of high conservation concern.

    Few factors are responsible for its disappearance:

    It’s not the urban habitat but the modification in architecture like use of glass and aluminum, the pollution caused by microwave towers; the excessive uses of pesticides, a gradual decrease in nesting sites, food sources and the replacement of native plants by exotic varieties, are to be blamed. Modern architecture and urban housing is also responsible as there is no place, where these can build their nests. Breeding habitat is mostly associated with human environments such as farms, and residential and urban areas. Modern house construction has meant that house sparrows struggle to find adequate nesting sites in today’s matchbox shaped houses. All these changes have resulted in lack of nesting sites for our winged friends. While constructing new buildings, care should be taken that nesting site are provided to house sparrows.

    Due to extensive use of pesticides, the food for its young ones, which are caterpillars and soft worms, is not available in plenty. The young ones of house sparrows feed exclusively on an insect diet for the first 15 days of their life. The lack of insects in their surroundings will lead to an increase in the mortality rate of chicks leading to decline in the population of House sparrow. We also no longer find women sitting outside the house and cleaning grains, which provided sufficient food to these birds. Today, people get flour and grains in pre-cleaned and packed packets which they buy from malls, where our winged friends are not able to go.

    We should plant native trees and shrubs and wines which can provide them enough protection and camouflage from predator birds and animals and also which attract insects and pests, all of which are part of the natural ecosystem. Plants and trees like Bougainvilleas, citrus family, Henna, ber, mulberry etc provide them enough space and food, as these attract the native worms and pests .The bougainvillea and certain other creepers can be used as ornamental plant in urban homes.

    Exotic plants in the garden/homes, use of pesticides and chemicals also lead to destruction of habitat and food base. Organic farming practices should be encouraged and bird-friendly restoration programs which will help farmland birds and house sparrows should be undertaken. The use of organic fertilizers and fertilizers should be encouraged and strict regulations on the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides should be implemented.

    Research in Spain proved that the microwaves released from Cell phone towers are harmful to house sparrows and the increase in the concentration of microwaves results leads to decrease in House Sparrow populations. Living in such high concentration of Microwave pollution is as good as sitting in an x-ray room. The decline of House Sparrow due to polluted environments is an indicator of the degrading environment in which we all live. The governments should bring in strict norms and research should be done to eliminate the harmful effects of microwave technology or other alternative technology should be seriously explored.

    Feeding Sparrows:

    We can make a habit of providing supply of food for sparrows and birds throughout the year. The grains can be kept in earthen bowls or spread in a safe shady place or filled in feeders. Feed house sparrows broken rice or broken grains in the summer and bajra (pearl millet) year-round. Small quantity of zero sized marble chips can be added to it or other bird feed. Please avoid feeding birds stale, salty and oily leftover food. Bread and cooked food has a little nutritional food value.

    In buildings or homes where no natural nesting places exist, we can use nest boxes for sparrows. Utmost care has to be taken that no predators like crows, shikras or snakes etc may not harm the eggs or youngones.It has also to be seen that sparrows have access to green plants for Worms and feed of Young ones and nest boxes should not be exposed to extremes of weather. Nest boxes can help the house sparrow raise a family.Providing Nest Boxes should be the last option.


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  8. Calling All Nest Monitors

    What do nest monitors, researchers, bluebirds, and other native cavity nesters have in common? We all deal with House Sparrows! As spring arrives and birds begin nesting, the House Sparrow Project invites you to collaborate in citizen-science research on this nonnative species. Whether you have a handful of nest boxes or a large trail, and whether you actively or passively manage sparrows, there are only three requirements for participation: curiosity, nest boxes, and a promise to keep good records.

    Researchers at Hunter College and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology want to spearhead this citizen science research project in collaboration with YOU! And there is more than one way you can participate:

    Collectively design best practices for House Sparrow management. Participants and researchers will discuss the array of management practices out there and collectively design a field experiment to evaluate a subset of these.
    Advance research by collecting much-needed data on nesting behavior and egg recognition. The research is fun: color House Sparrow eggs, take photos, collect data, share and compare information with others.
    Participate in discussion groups online to share your insights and ideas.

    Everyone is invited to participate. Visit our website at to get more information and sign up today!


    The House Sparrow Project Team
    Dr. Mark Hauber
    Dr. Caren Cooper
    Ms. Dennise Belmaker


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