Rufous collared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis)Sparrows are small and gregarious seed-eaters with short, thick, but pointed bills with global distribution.

The Old World Sparrows (family Passeridae) include about 140 species and native to the old world tropics and Australasia. The Old World true sparrows are found in Europe, Africa and Asia.

In Australia and the Americas

American Sparrows – or New World sparrows – with some physical differences, are closely related to the Old World Sparrows. American Tree Sparrows – Found in Alaska and northern Canada.

Chipping Sparrows breed in eastern North America and typically nest in woodlands, agricultural lands, as well as suburban and urban areas.

Fox Sparrows are the largest sparrows and breed in wooded areas across northern Canada and the west coast of North America from Alaska to California. They migrate south on the west coast and to the eastern United States.

Click on any image below for a slideshow of sparrow pictures:

White-throated Sparrows breed in central Canada and New England; and migrate to southern USA for the winter and are rare vagrants to Western Europe.

White-crowned Sparrows breed across northern Canada and the western United States.

Golden-crowned Sparrows breed across the north part of western Canada and Alaska.

Sparrows typically forage on the ground, often in loose flocks. They mostly feed on seeds; and will readily visit local bird feeders. They also take insects, green foods (grasses) and buds.

Their average lifespan is 4 to 7 years.