Lifespan of Sparrows | My Bird Garden

Sparrows are common birds that can be found all over the world. They live in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and urban areas. Sparrows eat a variety of things, including seeds, insects, and fruit.

There is something about sparrows that makes them one of the most beloved birds in the world. People are fascinated by their delicate features and charming personalities.

But how long do sparrows live? What is the lifespan of a sparrow? In this blog post, we will answer those questions and more!

The Lifespan of Various Sparrows

There are many different types of sparrows, and each one has a slightly different lifespan. For instance, the house sparrow typically lives for about five to seven years in the wild.

However, some individual house sparrows have been known to live for up to 15 years!

The reason for this long lifespan depends on where they live and what kind of problems face some people just seem more likely than others with problem-free lives and longer lifespans.

Name of the Sparrows Average Lifespan Common Cause of Death Region
Song Sparrow 3-5 years Window collisions, predators, insecticides North America
House Sparrow 3-5 years Predators, diseases, environment, humans North America
Wild Sparrow 13 years Climate change, habitat loss, and predators Eurasia and Northern Africa
Eurasian Tree Sparrow 3 years Contaminated ecosystem, outdoor cats, and diseases Europe and Asia
Rock Sparrow 2-5 years Predators, Climate change, Habitat loss Europe and Africa
Saltmarsh Sparrow 9 years Climate change, Habitat loss North America
Vesper Sparrow 6 years Loss of habitat and use of pesticide North-Central United States
Black-throated Sparrow 5 years Pesticide use, habitat loss, cat predation American Southwest
Bachman’s Sparrow 3 years Climate change, habitat loss, and predators South-East United States
Grasshopper sparrow 7 years Contaminated ecosystem, outdoor cats, and Diseases Texas, US

miliaria calandra

The Amazing Record

It is difficult to track the lifespan of a bird because they typically do not live together in large flocks. However, if you are capturing your own birds, it can be a little easier.

The longest recorded lifespan for a sparrow was 23 years. This can be seen as both the average length from birth till death and also how old this particular individual got.

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Unfortunately, we lose birds that are over 20 years old all the time, but we don’t really know how old they were supposed to live to be.

What Affects the Lifespan of Sparrows?

Sparrows are tiny birds that can be found all over the world. They live in cities, fields, forests, and even deserts!

Sparrows need our help though because their populations have been declining for decades due to excessive use of insecticides which make them fat with tumors really quickly.


The most common predators of sparrows are domestic cats, hawks, owls, squirrels, and snakes. These animals typically hunt during the day, which is when sparrows are most active.

Sparrows have a few defense mechanisms against predators. They can fly away quickly, they can hide in trees or bushes, and they can make loud noises to warn other sparrows of danger.

Even though sparrows have these defenses, many of them are still killed each year by predators.


Sparrows are also prone to injuries caused by man-made objects, such as cars, buildings, and windows. Another significant threat to sparrows is power lines.

Sparrows often build their nests on or near power lines, which can result in electrocution.

To avoid being injured by a car while crossing the road, sparrows use roads less frequently during the daytime.

In addition to that, sparrows are also at risk of being hit by flying objects, such as rocks and sticks.

Injuries caused by man-made objects are the leading cause of death for sparrows in urban areas.


Outbreaks of disease and infections by parasites are one of the main reasons for sparrow mortality. For example, house finches in the United States suffered from an outbreak of mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in the 1990s.

This eye infection is highly contagious and can easily spread among birds that live in proximity to each other, as sparrows do.


In the summer, it is not surprising that sparrows are vulnerable to infections. They get unavoidable chicken mites that feed on their blood and cause fatal diseases in return for an infection or two.

External parasites, such as lice and mites, are also a big problem for sparrows. These pests can cause anemia, which leads to death.

Sparrows can also be infected by various internal parasites, such as tapeworms and roundworms. These parasites live in the bird’s intestines and consume its food. This can lead to malnutrition and death.

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The blistering heat of summer can make sparrows vulnerable to infectious parasites. Typically, sparrows get unavoidable chicken mites that feed on these songbirds’ blood.

As a result, sparrows get fatal infections, which may lead the birds to death.


The environment plays a vital role in the lifespan of sparrows. If the environment is not good enough for them to live and breed, they will die young.

For example, if a place is too cold or too hot, there are not enough food sources, or there is too much pollution, then the sparrows will not survive for long.


The heavy use of pesticides is the primary reason for the decline in sparrow numbers. Pesticides are used to kill insects, but they also unintentionally kill many songbirds, including sparrows.

Moreover, these toxic chemicals accumulate in the environment and contaminate the food chain, which is how they end up killing sparrows.


Sparrows are very social animals. They often build their nests near humans. Unfortunately, humans sometimes deliberately destroy their nests to get rid of them. Moreover, some people even use sparrows for target practice.

House Sparrows are pesky bird that has been known to nest in any available holes around your house.

However, these same birds are a vital part of the ecosystem and play an important role in keeping insect populations in check.

It is important to understand how long a sparrow lives and what threatens their survival, so we can take steps to protect them.

Sparrows Themselves

Sometimes, sparrows die because of fights with other birds. If two adult male sparrows desire the same female, they will start fighting for her, which may lead both of them to death.

In addition, sometimes sparrows accidentally fly into windows and die.

Sparrow on barbed wire fence

To Reduce The Risks To Sparrows

The sparrow is a small bird with big problems. The risk of being eaten by predators, the need to feed themselves in order not die from hunger or thirst, while avoiding pesticides.

We can follow these steps to help them:

Keeping their feeders clean

You should clean your bird feeders and birdhouses regularly to prevent the spread of diseases. The disease is one of the primary causes of death in sparrows.

You should also change the water in your birdbath daily, as dirty water can also cause disease.

To clean the bird feeder, soak it in a solution of one part water to nine parts bleach for about 30 minutes. Rinse it thoroughly with clean water and let it air-dry completely before using it again.

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Discouraging predators

You can do this by keeping your cats indoors and trimming shrubs around your house. You should also keep an eye on birds of prey such as hawks, owls, and eagles as they might prey on sparrows.

Don’t remove the sparrows nest

As mentioned earlier, removing sparrows’ nests will make the mother abandon the chicks. Sparrows are very social creatures, and they live in colonies.

If you remove one sparrow nest, other sparrows in the colony will also stop using their nests.

Don’t kill sparrows

It is illegal to kill house sparrows in the United States, as they are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. You can use bird netting or install scarecrows or decoys to keep them away from your property.

You can also use bird spikes or bird wire to keep them from landing and nesting on ledges, windowsills, or gutters.

Use of pesticides

Pesticides are very harmful to sparrows, and therefore their use should be avoided.

The most common pesticide used is carbaryl, and it is very harmful to birds. Carbaryl affects the sparrow’s nervous system, and therefore it should be avoided.

You should also avoid the use of rat poison as it is very harmful to animals and can kill sparrows.

Sparrows flying into windows

Sparrows often mistake the reflection in the window for another bird and try to attack it. This could lead to serious injuries or death.

How long can sparrows survive in captivity?

Sparrows play a vital role in balancing the ecosystem; it is important that we protect them from extinction.

As you know, one long-captive bird lived up to 23 hours, while another found near Texas recorded 16 years of the life span! 

However, there are some experts who recommend against keeping these birds captive because their removal could lead to an imbalance within nature which would be hazardous for both humans and other animals alike.


The house sparrow is a beautiful bird, and we should protect them. They are an essential part of our ecosystem, and their extinction would mean a lot of problems for us.

We should take care of them and not let anything happen to them.

How do you feel about house sparrows? Do you think they are a nuisance or an essential part of the ecosystem? Let us know in the comments below.

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