What Do Sparrows Eat?

Sparrows are weaver finch birds. There are several species of sparrow, some of which are associated with living nearby settlements of people, such as cities, suburbs, and farms. The most common sparrow is the House Sparrow, also known by its Latin name, Passer Domesticus.

Sparrows have small bodies and strong, conical beaks; which are perfect for eating seeds. Sparrows have a varied diet, but what do sparrows eat can mostly be answered with simply seeds and grain.

What do sparrows eat?

Sparrows feed mainly on seeds and grain such as buckwheat, crabgrass, ragweed, corn, wheat, sorghum, oats, and other weed seeds. Captive house sparrows will also eat birdseed mixtures that contain sunflower seeds, milo, and millet.

So, what do sparrows eat apart from seeds and grain? Common house sparrows also eat plant and flower buds, crops, insects, berries, animal feed, and human food waste. Male sparrows are known to hunt insects and forage for food to bring to their young.

Do sparrows eat seeds?

“What do sparrows eat” when they feed on seeds? Sparrows will happily eat commercial birdseed. They particularly like millet and sunflower seeds. Sparrows also enjoy eating weed seeds, which makes them wonderful companions for your garden, as they naturally and safely help with weeding.

How much does a sparrow eat a day?

Sparrows are very active and social birds that need to eat large quantities of food each day. Like most birds, sparrows eat approximately one quarter to half of their body weight each day.

On average, a sparrow weighs between 24-40 grams. Sparrows were introduced to the Americas from Europe in the middle of the 1800s. Due to the built-up urban areas that existed in the coastal cities of the United States at the time, the sparrow population flourished. 

Towards the end of the 19th century, the indigenous bird populations of the USA were suffering from the sparrows ingenious feeding habits, which saw them eat a large majority of the food supply before any other bird could get to it!  This problem continues to persist today, with sparrows eating more than their share from bird feeders and other sources of supply.

What attracts a sparrow?

Now that we have learned more about what do sparrows eat, let’s look at how you can attract sparrows to your home and garden. The feathers and markings of sparrows are camouflaged in dusty brown and earth colors. This is to help protect them from the many predators that hunt them.

Although sparrows may seem unafraid of people, often feeding when we are nearby, they are easily frightened. By creating safe and sheltered feeding areas in your garden, you can ensure they feel secure enough to begin regularly visiting your home.

Sparrows prefer to stay low to the ground. Thick foliage and shrubberies, in the form of evergreen plants, can help encourage sparrows to feed on the bird seed you put out.

They also like high-placed branches or bird stands, to perch on between feeds. Don’t put bird feeders in corners or too close to fences, as this can make them feel restricted, and doesn’t give them much room to fly about.

It can also give predators such as cats, easy access to where the sparrows are, so it’s better to put bird feeders and tables in the middle of a lawn, surrounded by thick bushes and plants.

Sparrows will happily feed on seeds tossed onto the ground, so there is no need to purchase specially made bird tables and feeders, to enjoy the sight of these sweet and small creatures in your garden. It is also a nice idea to also provide sparrows with water or dust baths too.

Again, place these on the ground, near a thicket or bush to help them feel secure. A simple tray or even a deep plate from your kitchen can be used to create a convenient birdbath, so it really doesn’t cost much to enjoy seeing what do sparrows eat from the comfort of your own home.

so what do sparrows eat? Sparrows feed on seeds and grain such as buckwheat, crabgrass, ragweed, corn, wheat, sorghum, oats, and other weed seeds

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