Story: Introduced land birds

Male house sparrow

Despite its small size, the house sparrow is probably the worst bird pest from a farmer’s perspective. Its short bill is adapted for eating seeds, and in New Zealand it feeds on grain crops such as wheat, barley and maize. The male has a distinctive chestnut nape and back, and a large black bib, which becomes smaller after breeding. He is responsible for building the bulky nest, and shares both the incubation of the eggs and the feeding of the nestlings with the female.

Using this item

Natural Sciences Image Library of New Zealand
Reference: DSCF2533.jpg
Photograph by Peter E. Smith

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

Sound file from the Department of Conservation

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Introduced land birds - House sparrows', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 June 2024)

Story by Christina Troup, published 24 Nov 2008, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015