How Long Do Sparrows Live?

How long do sparrows live? The average lifespan of the most common type of sparrow is between 3 to 5 years. On the other hand, the lifetime of certain other unique species of sparrow can be as long as 9 years. The Bird Banding Laboratory of the USA discovered a white-crowned sparrow that lived for 13 years and 4 months.

How Long Do Sparrows Live?

How Long Do Sparrows Live?

House sparrows are the most common sparrow species and typically live between three and five years. On the other hand, the lifetime of certain other unique species of sparrow can be as long as nine years.

Sparrows have a relatively limited lifespan in the wild due to several circumstances, including natural enemies, illnesses, the environment, people, and even other sparrows.

The Bird Banding Laboratory of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has compiled a list of some of the longest lifespans ever documented for various species of birds.

Breeds Time Duration
House sparrow 13 years and 4 months
Song sparrow 11 years and 3 months
White-crowned sparrow 13 years and 4 months

In the wild, the average lifespan of a sparrow is around three years. They may also live longer, as evidenced by the record held by the sparrow that has survived the longest. However, their typical lifespan in the wild is much shorter than other animals.


It takes eleven days for sparrow eggs to hatch. The young birds leave the nest when they are just 14 days old. After leaving the nest, they remain on the premises for another day. The young can care for themselves between 7 and 10 days after they leave the nest.

The Lifespan of Various Sparrows

Based on their size, sparrows may be separated into two distinct categories: small-sized sparrows and large-sized sparrows. The house sparrow, the tree sparrow, and the European starling are all examples of smaller-sized sparrows.

Name of the Sparrow’s Lifespan
House Sparrow 3-5 years
Song Sparrow 3-5 years
Eurasian Tree Sparrow 3 years
Rock Sparrow 2-5 years
Black-Throated Sparrow 5 years
Vesper Sparrow 6 years
Grasshopper Sparrow 7 years
White-Throated Sparrow 9 years
Saltmarsh Sparrow 9 years

The American tree sparrow, the dark-eyed junco, the white-throated sparrow, the song sparrow, the savannah sparrow, the chipping sparrow, the meadowlark, and the grasshopper sparrow are all examples of large-sized species of sparrows.


Even though the lifetime of house sparrows is about three years on average, other kinds of sparrows may live for far longer than house sparrows. The environment in which a species lives and the number of threats it faces both have a role in determining its average lifetime.

What Factors Have an Impact on a Sparrow’s Lifespan?

The longevity of sparrows is mostly determined by factors like predators, injuries, epidemics, parasites, and the environment. Because of the widespread overuse of pesticides, their numbers have been steadily dropping around the globe for several decades. If sparrows can escape these dangers, they have the potential to live twice as long as their normal lifetime.

1. Predators

House sparrows are birds of prey for other songbirds, notably eastern bluebirds; house sparrows have a few predators. These predators include domestic cats, several types of squirrels, small hawks, and corvids such as crows and grackles.

Please be aware that each year in the United States, cats are responsible for the deaths of billions of birds, most of which are sparrows. In addition, crows, grackles, and even tiny hawks will occasionally consume sparrow eggs, nestlings, and even adult sparrows. Squirrels of both the red and grey varieties will raid sparrows’ nests.

2. Injuries

Every year in the United States, accidents with windows cause injuries to millions of sparrows, especially song sparrows. Song sparrows are particularly vulnerable. Numerous studies indicate that around sixty per cent of accidents with windows result in fatalities, which causes sparrows to perish.

3. Diseases

Diseases caused by protozoans, such as coccidiosis and microsporidiosis, can be fatal to sparrows. Because these birds migrate as flocks and reside in colonies, their numbers might be significantly reduced if there is an epidemic. In addition, prolonged exposure to severe winter conditions might shorten the life span of sparrows.

4. Parasites

Sparrows are particularly susceptible to contracting infectious parasites when summer weather is extremely hot. Chicken mites are a common and inevitable problem for sparrows. These mites feed on the blood of songbirds. Consequently, sparrows are prone to contracting lethal infections, which might ultimately end in the birds’ demise.

5. Environment

Even though they are very adaptable to their surroundings, sparrow numbers worldwide are declining due largely to the effects of climate change. As a result of global warming, sparrows often lose enough resources to threaten their ability to continue existing.

6. Pesticides

The overuse of pesticides is currently leading to a decline in sparrow populations around the globe. A songbird, in particular a sparrow, can be killed by ingesting just one seed treated with neonicotinoids, the most common type of pesticide used in the modern world.

In addition, the widespread use of another type of pesticide called imidacloprid causes sparrows to lose a significant amount of weight. As a direct result of this, sparrows are forced to delay their migration and are unable to successfully reproduce. As a direct consequence, their numbers continue to decrease over time.

7. Humans

Removing nests from sparrows’ territories results in the birds’ deaths. There is a chance that these cute little songbirds will set their nests in any of the holes in your home. Parents will leave their eggs unattended in nests destroyed or visited too frequently by humans. Young sparrows have no chance of surviving without their parents.

In addition, according to federal legislation in the United States, killing house sparrows is perfectly acceptable because the species is considered a nuisance. As a result of our affection for birds, we do not condone the killing of birds. You should treat the sparrows in your yard compassionately if they are a nuisance.

8. The Sparrows on Their Own

Because house sparrows are known to be so aggressive, they may be responsible for the mortality of other species of sparrows. Sparrows constantly attempt to dominate other sparrows by intimidating, assaulting, and even murdering those with a lower social status. They will sometimes destroy the eggs, resulting in the young’s death.


Aside from that, the mothers of sparrows will murder their sick or contaminated offspring to safeguard their other young. They frequently remove the sick offspring from the nesting area. Why do the moms of diseased chicks always choose to transfer them rather than kill them? The intelligence of first-time mother sparrows is insufficient.


Some related questions are given below:

1 - What is the average lifespan of a sparrow?

The average lifespan of a house sparrow is around three years. On the other hand, the longest lifespan documented for this species is 12 years and 12 days.

2 - What characteristics distinguish a male sparrow from a female sparrow?

The top of a female sparrow’s head is a dusty brown tint, whereas the top of a male sparrow’s head is dark grey and laced with streaks of bright chestnut colouration. Take a look at the neck. The throat of a female sparrow is lighter in colour than that of a male, who has a dark band at the base of its neck. Examine the beak of the bird.

3 - Do birds excrete?

The fact that, in contrast to mammals, birds do not generate urine provides the answer to this riddle. Instead, they expel wastes containing nitrogen in uric acid, which appears as a white sludge in the digestive tract. In addition, uric acid has a difficult time dissolving in water.

4 - Which type of bird lives the least amount of time?

The ruby-throated hummingbird, the world’s shortest-lived bird, is also the shortest-lived animal still alive today. The average lifespan of a bird is far greater than that of a mammal of comparable size; yet, bigger bird species have a greater propensity to outlive their smaller counterparts.

5 - What kind of intelligence do sparrows possess?

House sparrows are known for their dogged determination, resourcefulness, and sharp minds. According to Fitzwater (1994b), the brain of a sparrow typically accounts for around 4.3 per cent of the bird’s total body weight, which is a sizeable amount greater than the brains of other types of birds.

6 - When it starts to rain, where do the birds go?

When poor weather strikes, birds seek protection from the wind and rain by taking refuge in thickets or dense shrubbery adjacent to large tree trunks or on the leeward side of woodlands and forests. When severe weather approaches, birds nest in cavities will take refuge in artificial or naturally occurring nesting sites.

7 - How many hours a day do sparrows sleep?

Most birds require between 12 and 13 hours of sleep each night to function at their best. If it’s any less than that, especially in the spring, a bird could be forced into the phase where it’s trying to reproduce.

8 - Do you mind if I make a sparrow my pet?

It is against the law in the United States to keep any kind of wild native bird in captivity, and anybody who is found guilty of doing so faces the possibility of being prosecuted for a crime.

9 - When a bird comes to visit you, what does it mean?

People report that they have had spiritual encounters in which they saw birds delivering messages to them. They might have an encounter with angels who take the guise of birds, see visions of a cherished bird that has passed away and believe that it is serving as a spirit guide or catch a glimpse of bird imagery or animal symbols that represent something that God wishes to convey to them.

10 - How many babies can a sparrow have?

Sparrows typically lay their eggs during the nesting season, which normally spans early spring and summer. A sparrow can lay between three and seven eggs, but the average clutch size is between four and five. Typically, the eggs hatch between 10 and 14 days after being laid, and the young house sparrows stay in the nest for another 15 days.


In conclusion, sparrows tend to survive for a longer period in captivity than they do in the wild. However, because sparrows cannot be seen from the time they are born until they die, it is quite challenging to obtain accurate information on their lifespan. The lifetime of sparrows kept in captivity is the only one that can be accurately calculated.

It doesn’t matter how many years, on average, a sparrow lives; there will always be things in the environment that can cut that number of years short. If you are passionate about birds, you have certain responsibilities to help lower the hazards. You shouldn’t count yourself among those who constantly work to harm sparrows.

Related Articles