Yes i have seen this happen.   (she has seen sparrows killing sparrows!)

we have bird houses set up we love our garden sparrows and love watching them nest,but this year we had sparrows killing other sparrows and killing all oue little baby sparrows as well.

now all the sparrows have left their houses and our yard, it was a very sad thing to watch

Char sent me her story of what she had seen.   Previously she had asked about sparrows killing sparrows.   Click the link below if you would like to read it.



I replied

You have seen it happen! Can I ask where you live? The world of birds is so strange isn’t it? I know robins fight robins, and I have found out that sparrows can be thugs, but sparrows killing sparrows!! Also sparrows killing young sparrows. I wonder if some where house sparrows and some where tree sparrows. I wonder if there was a shortage of food and so they killed to get the food – but that does not really make sense does it?

I am sure it would have been sad to watch. You think of spring as being a time of re birth not a time of slaughter. Think of all the other birds that are toiling to feed their young and watch the other fledglings as they visit your garden and grow and surive. Trisha


Please get in touch if you have seen or heard of this happening.  


  1. Julie B

    Sparrows nest under the eaves of our house. Today my husband heard a thud, and 2 sparrows’ eggs were on the ground below. He’d only seen sparrows going back and forth, so it seems rival sparrows had attacked the nest. One egg was nearly ready to hatch. Such a shame.

  2. Lincoln Birder

    We have creeper growing over our house. Every year we have several pairs of house sparrows nest in it successfully. Yesterday, there was a commotion and several sparrows emerged from the ivy, fighting in the air. They were pecking and harrassing one particular male, who then fell to the ground – stone dead. I have never seen such behaviour before.

  3. Trish Post author

    Amazing. We see a flock of sparrows every day. They are tree sparrows though. These sparrows spend ages on the grass together pecking at the bird food and some open soil that I have near the feeders. I still find it hard to realise that birds do kill birds. I know robins fight to the death sometimes, but watching robins it is hard to believe that as well.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    There is so much we will never know about birds. I wonder what this house sparrow had done. It must have broken some sparrow law!

  4. linda mccarthy

    We have several bird feeders in our back yard and every day for the past week we have had dead sparrows, one day 4. Their beaks and sometimes their heads have been pecked or eaten off. We haven’t seen them kill each other but they certainly do fight constantly. We are thinking of taking down the feeders to prevent the killing.

  5. Trish Post author

    This sounds horrible, especially when it should be a time of nesting and new life.

    It may be a good idea to take the feeders down, but then would these attacks happen somewhere else.

    It may not be sparrows.

    Take a look at my category about bird eating bird

    There seems to be a lot of mayhem going on in our civilised gardens. Nature.

  6. Denise

    I have many feeders & nest boxes in my back yard. Many bird species , squirrels, chipmunks etc. I have tree swallows nesting yearly, and am hoping for bluebirds. But, I must be a good landlord and keep out the murderous house sparrows! I also see their aggressive attitudes, yesterday I witnessed a male pursue & kill another male. Couldn’t believe my eyes! I guess it’s true “only the strong survive”

  7. jenn sedor

    the other day my children and I were amazed to see 6 fledgling
    sparrows low in my flower bed… the adults were at the feeder and every so often a mother would come and feed a young one…. yesterday there were no sparrows and I went to mow the lawn and found 4 dead fledglings and one dead adult…. they were in bad shape, some had legs missing etc… I thought it was a cat… but I kept finding bodies and it made me wonder if there was some kind of a fight! Now I’m sure it was sparrows killing sparrows… I will have to take my feeder down…. so sad!

  8. Randy

    This is something that I’ve been fascinated by lately. I work in agriculture in northwest Iowa, and there are piles of grain everywhere, which attract a lot of sparrows, and I see these fights a lot. Every few weeks during the spring and summer, it seems.

    I haven’t actually seen a fatality happen, as the fights move on quickly as the victim bird tries to flee, but because of the viciousness, there is no question in my mind that the only outcomes to these fights would be that the bird dies or manages to escape.

    There is a lot of food for them where I work (thus why there are so many of them), so I know it’s not a food shortage situation.

    I’ll hear a bird commotion, a lot of excited sounding chirping, and then I’ll see a group of sparrows ganging up on one particular sparrow, chasing it and viciously attacking it. And I’ve always wondered what it is that sets these fights off.

  9. Ruth Trotter

    we were horrified to see six sparrows pecking at a dead sparrow this morning.
    Didn’t know if they had killed it or not but never seen this before and we have always fed and have dozens of the birds in the garden.

  10. Pingback: Bird eating Bird | Bird Table News


  12. Trish Post author

    Hello Ruth,
    Thanks for getting in touch telling us what you’ve seen. I’ve also had someone from the USA get in touch with a similar sighting. We just don’t know what these wild birds get up to. Sparrows look such small, chirpy, frail birds, but they have another side that we don’t know anything about.

    By the way, I’ve put your comment as an article on Bird Table News. Here’s a link

  13. Trish Post author

    Hi Randy, Hello from Yorkshire, England
    I’m so pleased you got in touch and told us about what you have seen. As you can see it must go on a lot as I wrote about it first in 2010 and people have been picking up on it since then.

    I have put your comment as an article on Bird Table News as I think it is very interesting and it shows how little we know about these wild birds. I’ve done the same with a similar comment

    Here’s a link to the blog post that tells what you have seen. It would be fascinating if we knew why it happens. What you saw does show that lack of food is not the key to why it happens.

  14. Tracie

    I set off for work in the car this morning, got to the end of the road and there were 6 or 7 sparrows in the middle of the road attacking a single sparrow. I stopped the car and got out, the attackers flew off leaving the one lying in the road, I got out and picked it up. It didn’t look too injured, I stroked it’s head for a moment, then took it to the side of the road where there’s a hedge as I didn’t know what else to do – I gently placed it under the hedge, it scrambled to it’s feet and flew off. I can only assume I got there at the beginning of the attack and there had not been much damage done. I’ve never witnessed anything like this before and hadn’t realized it occurred, until finding your blog.

  15. Cherie Bamrick

    We recently added another birdhouse to our yard (7 or 8 already) and have watched a male sparrow chirping his little heart out trying to entice a female. A couple days ago, there seemed to be success and a female came and was checking out the birdhouse. Then I heard a commotion out the window and saw the male sparrow fighting with another male sparrow. Another time I saw the male sparrow pull the other male sparrow from the house…they have been fighting for days and I am afraid one will kill the other. After reading your article, I am taking this birdhouse down as I have never seen this happen prior to the house going up. I did witness an amazing thing one year when a swallow was attacking a bluebird…Several sparrows came and surrounded the bluebird and saved it from the swallow. I will never forget that…..a different species looking out for the underdog…but attacking within a species? Yes, the house is coming down.

  16. kathy

    I live in oklahona city and have Sparrows nesting in my patio cover every year. I have never had a dead Sparrow in my yard until the last few weeks. I found one then another then 5 last weekend and 2 today. Most are adults and appear to have broken necks. One today gad no head at all and the other had its skin ripped off its head! Im sick about it! I don’t know whats going on. They are all on my patio or within 6’of it. None in the front yard or further out in the back yard. Im in the middle of the city, does anyone know whats going on? Kathy

  17. Jane

    Today I heard tweeting from my neighbour’s garden. 2 female house sparrows were fighting. Other sparrows were looking on and cheeping. On the ground I could see what looked like dead babies. It really looked like one of the females was definitely killed as she stopped flapping. The other female carried on attacking the dead body. This was in Norfolk, UK

  18. Tracey

    I have just been horrified to see a sparrow, dragging another sparrow savagely by the neck around the ground while a team of 5 other sparrows took turns to peck and attack it. The bird was struggling and terrified. I went to intervene but as they flew the injured bird couldn’t fly very well and they attached it mid-air, smashing it into a tree and as it fell to the ground they were on top of it ripping at it. I couldn’t watch any longer and I couldn’t rescue the bird as they were very quick. Nasty little thugs! ( Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, UK)

  19. Trish Post author

    this sort of thing must go on in the wild. It is not your birdhouse that is causing it. If you look at other comments you will see that it must be happening a lot. You have seen something that not many people have seen. It is amazing that this happens.

  20. sue wolter

    I just watched two birds fighting. They fell on the ground one on top of the other bird. The one on the bottom was on its back. The one on top kept pecking at it and stabbed its eyes out and killed it. It took less than a minute. I couldn’t believe this happened. I think it is a warbler. Why would they do this?

  21. Yvonne

    Today I went out to look at my bird houses, sparrows have nested in them. I found a baby with it’s head nearly chewed off, leaning out of the hole , I took him out , and there was a baby moving around , so i left , hoping now the mother could get into feed the other one, half an hour later went back , saw 2 sparrows coming out of the hole the last baby they killed it . It was horrible never seen that before , What is going on I have had bird houses forever and never seen this , 🙁

  22. Liam Stack

    Recently have become obsessed with sparrows after watching two males, shrieking at each other, crash into a spindly tree not 3ft away from where I was stood legs locked in the midst of a full blown fight! The landed originally around 10ft up the tree and tumbled down through the branches – fighting furiously the while time – until they reached the ground and continued to scrap amongst the multiple small tree trunks the tree was formed from. Absolutely amazing. I would have filmed it were I not so awestruck by what I was witnessing.

    I perhaps shouldn’t have – but I intervened. But it took me a couple of attempts to stop the fight! I clapped and shouted twice before deciding to shake the tree a bit which finally snapped them out of their fight to the death. Truly impressive and so much emotion and energy in the fight. I was as amazed as I was shocked.

    After doing a bit of research and reading all of your other sightings I think that these particular males may also have been fighting for nesting spots as they are known to nest earlier than other birds. But it seems in general that sparrows find many reasons to fight – some a lot less obvious than others, however. I am going to look more into and keep my eyes out – perhaps even get a couple little cameras – for more of the elusive reasons that they fight.

    Thanks for all your input guys it has been very useful! Keep watching!

  23. Jann LaValley

    I have an injured sparrow here with me right now. There is no obvious sign of injury other than what look like peck marks on the head. (I have seen what cat bites look like on a sparrow) It can fly short distances but then looks as if it has no strength to do more. It was on my deck but a local cat noticed it and after catching it once I made it let go. The cat continued to stalk it so I have got it resting in a warm box with ventilation and will release it when the cat is not longer in the area.

    I assume that it has been attacked by other sparrows and wonder if what we have been observing with these vicious encounters is merely the equivalent of stags or other animals vying for dominance of the group or flock.

  24. Deb Landrock, PA USA

    My husband and I were so excited after we purchased a rather large “state-of-the-art” birdfeeder this past Spring. We put a basic blend of seed in the feeder which seemed to attract only sparrows and turtle doves. Sad to say we have been finding dead sprarrows (heads punched down into their chest) frequently. From reading other people’s comments above, guess sparrows are more like “fight cats.” Thinking of trying another type seed or downing the feeder:(

  25. Ernesto Penaranda

    Walking by the park my dog went on to sniff on something that happened to be a dead sparrow laying on the ground and another one that took off. I pulled my dog back and there came back the other sparrow and continued to eat off the dead sparrow’s eyes, which, by the way, happened to be alive!! Freaking creepy!! I grabbed the half dead bird with no eyes by the leg and throwed it into the lake. I still think that was maybe a bit better than being eaten alive.

  26. Cheryl Warren

    We have found three dead house sparrows killed in the same manner ad noted in other entries. We added safflower to a feeder. This makes safflower an ideal addition to feeding stations where these “bully birds” might dominate feeders. Many squirrels will also avoid safflower seed and will not disturb feeders where safflower is offered, though chipmunks have been known to prefer the seed.

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