Sparrows standing up to Starlings

Today I was in the back garden and was watching a group of some 10 sparrows and a starling on a roof of a house behind mine.

In the gutter  a starling was playing with a bit of fluff or something. The sparrows sounded quite excited so I watched for a minute or so.

The sparrows were mostly within 1 metre of the starling. Several times the starling hopped onto the roof near the gutter and the sparrows showed little sign of moving back.

All of a sudden a sparrow flew in towards the roof from over my head (I think it was a female sparrow). She lunged at the starling, landing on its back and the pair fell off the roof towards the ground with the starling sqwarking madly. I could not see how far they fell but within a second the starling flew up to the house ridge and did not return to the gutter area.

Several of the sparrows went down into the rain water gutter for a while. I assume that there is a roost or old sparrow nest there. We have many hedges close by and the sparrows are by far the most common feeders at a feeder that we have in our front garden.


I found this really interesting. A reader took the trouble to send this to me.   Thank you for sending this to me. 

I really like hearing about the behaviour of birds.  When you see them in the garden you tend to lump them all together and not see them as working in flocks and working as a team against other birds.

Sparrows must be very aggressive – not timid like the tiny wren.


1 thought on “Sparrows standing up to Starlings

  1. Shell

    When I first started feeding birds several years ago now, I remember the Sparrow fighting one another over food. It was like watching a wrestling match! I don’t see so much squabbling between them now, unless I miss it.

    During the snow I did see the blackbirds get very territorial. There was one female which kept chasing off the other males and by didn’t they run!

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