House Sparrow
(Passer domesticus)


Picture of bird
© Dan Busby
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

Most common among human-modified surroundings, this introduced species is abundant in suitable habitats and widespread across Canada. Populations are well monitored by the Breeding Bird Survey, which indicates a large and continuing decrease since 1970. The declines are worldwide, and are likely related to changes in farming practices (Lowther and Cink 2006); in urban areas House Sparrows are susceptible to predation by cats, and pesticides. National population goals have not been established for this or other introduced species.


Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Not applicable2015 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaLarge DecreaseHighNot Applicable

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada5,000,000 - 50,000,000 adults

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence


Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population
CanadaNot Applicable

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts between early April and mid-May and ends between late July and early August, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.

Conservation and management

Even though House Sparrow populations are decreasing, there is no conservation concern for this introduced and still abundant species, which sometimes competes with native species in Canada. The species was first introduced to North America in New York in the mid-1980s and then proliferated. Currently, population decreases are occurring throughout its range around the globe, and are thought to be the result of farming practices moving toward monoculture and intensively-managed crops (Lowther and Cink 2006) and changes in food availability through reductions in spilt or leftover seeds and grains (Crick et al. 2002). House Sparrows are one of the species identified as vulnerable to predation by cats (Blancher 2013).


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type