HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Female

Back to the Archives – 13th August, 2018

One of the advantages of taking photos of the local bird-life from my apartment lounge, is the ability to rest my elbows on my desk to make hand-held shots.   If I’ve got fair light and a fast enough shutter speed, (or the continuous shooting setting), its possible to also capture birds on the move.

Sometimes I can capture those quick little seed peckers – other times not.

Today’s post is about the female House Sparrow from a week ago.  I had already broken the bright blue ceramic bird bath in my over-zealous balcony cleaning and the House Sparrows had seemed bewildered at the lack of a reliable water source in my lovely balcony Herb, Flower and Vegetable garden.

Australia actually has 2 Sparrows – the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) and the Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus).  Very similar, except the Eurasian Tree Sparrow is only found in a small area and has distinctive white cheek patches with a black central spot (among other differing feather colours and markings).  I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Eurasian one to be honest.

The House Sparrow is quite small; male with a distinctive grey crown, black face and bib.  The Chestnut-brown stripe over the eye links to a brown nape.  The back and wings are richly mottled chestnut, black and white and rump grey-buff.  Underparts greyish white.

The female and immature have a buff stripe over the eye as shown in this post and are much paler.  They’re easy to identify.

Unlike the Spotted Turtle-doves on my previous apartment balcony to the north-east of inner Melbourne, I have yet to really see any distinguishing marks or tell Sparrows apart.

Some of the ‘boys’ are a little aggressive and territorial, but I guess the females might be also if they had a nest nearby.

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