Category Archives: Do sparrows attack other birds

Sparrows killing blackbird chicks

From Carol,

Hi Trisha,
I actually witnessed a sparrow flying into our bay tree where a female  blackbird has been feeding three chicks in her nest.

She was collecting worms for them early this morning and nothing had occurred.  I then saw the mother blackbird and the father walking around the bottom of the nest apparently with nothing to do.

I went out to the garden, and found a blackbird chick dead on the ground under the bay tree and on further investigation the nest was empty.  All this happened in about 15 minutes.

I am looking at the blackbird parents now in the garden looking very dejected.  There are two sparrow nests also in our garden in quite close proximity to the bay tree.

I hope the blackbirds lay another clutch of eggs and have better luck.

All quite upsetting really.


Carol, Thank you for sending me this sad story.
I hope the blackbirds have another clutch of eggs as well.

It’s lovely that so many people are concerned about our garden birds – and Carol is one of them.

There is a possibility it could have been a magpie, but I don’t think so in that short space of time.

I have received other details of sparrows attacking  birds.  If you read through the Catergories DO SPARROWS ATTACK OTHER BIRDS and also BIRD EATING BIRD you will be able to read some strange things.

Carol, thank you for sharing this with us.  It reminds us that we know so little about the life of garden birds.

Please let me know if the blackbirds do have another clutch of eggs (even if you have to send me an emai)


I am having a problem with my website. If you want to write a comment but find there is a problem then please email me a


From Tracy in Lincolnshire

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! 


From Jane in Norfolk

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,


This must happen a lot.  I hear about sightings because readers get in touch with me.  Think about how many more such attacks must take place out of sight of human sight.

Very strange and very interesting

Thank you to you both for getting in touch


Bird Table News is turning into a ‘bird world’ murder mystery, but I feel I should let you all know what readers are seeing in their gardens.  That is what a blog is ‘two way communication’

This is from Jen –

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!


A chilling story from 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”


Can I ask where you live?

Fancy that! I wonder how often it happens. I wonder if this happens all year round. We do think of these small sparrows as needing our protection, but we don’t know half of what goes on in bird world do we?  Thank you very much for getting in touch


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.


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.



I was watering my garden when I saw a dead baby sparrow, as I continued to water, I saw another baby sparrow alive. I put on my garden gloves and picked it up.


My husband got the ladder out and climed up the side of the house and put the baby back in the nest. My husband went back in the house and I stayed out in the yard but backed up far enough away and watched. The nest was empty except for the baby we placed back in the nest.


A male sparrow came back to the nest and killed the baby, then through it out of the nest. I was heart broken.


Two female sparrows were on the ground churping at the dead baby sparrow. After a while they left.


The next day I was going to water the garden again and there were two more baby sparrows, but these were alive, I gave them dropes of water and some worms. I don’t know what to do with them. Do I let nature take its course or do I take care of them.


How can these little tiny things pull on my heart strings so so bad. I know this happens all the time with birds killing other birds and I guess it’s no different than humans at war killing each other, but it makes a different when you see it happen, weather its a bird or a human. Male lions kill baby cubs when they enter a new pride. Why is this an instinct with animals & humans. The only thing is Humans have a belief system and a consious but animals don’t.


Hello and thank you for getting in touch

I would say you will have to let nature take its course.  On saying that, I don’t know what I would do if I was in your shoes and the sparrows were there in front of me.

But really the only way is to let nature take its course.

I know how this can pull at our heart strings.  I saw a sparrowhawk with its talons in a blackbird and the blackbird was so shocked and frightened I was caught up in the moment and so wanted the blackbird to live.

The only thing I can think of is that the male sparrow maybe was not the father of the chicks and wanted to make room for his own young.

There is such a lot we don’t know about our wild birds.  As you can see from the orher comments from people – this is not just a one off.  It must be part of their nature and all we can do is accept it!!

Thank you for getting in touch.  Let me know what you decide to do.



  • Lincoln Birder said,

    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.


    Thank you Lincoln Birder.  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.

    Here is a report from 1912 about sparrows evicting a martin from its nest.  But in this case the sparrows met a grizzly ending


    This is the original thread about sparrows attacking other birds



    I have lots of hedge sparrows in my garden. 

    Last winter a hedge sparrow (or Two) took over a house martin’s nest outside my bedroom window but nested in hedge as normal in Spring. 

    They have recently pushed 4 feathered baby house martins out of nest and have taken up residence once more.  They are also attacking another nest with baby martins in it and dive bombing the parents.  

    I now hate them will think twice about feeding them this winter.


    Hi, Thanks for getting in touch.

      That is a good point of yours about feeding sparrows in winter.  We feed them and help them survive and they kill other birds.  If we didn’t feed them then, it seems as though, higher numbers of other bird species would survive.  That is very thought provoking.  Thanks for getting in touch

    I cannot see a house martin killing a sparrow can you?



    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.  


    I received this question from Char

    do sparrows steal each others nest? do they kill other baby sparrows ?

    What a question to think about –  I replied

    I have a Catetory on Bird Table News called  DO SPARROWS ATTACK OTHER BIRDS. 

    Here is the link

    If you read the articles  you will see that people have observed sparrows behaving like thugs!  They have beeen seen taking eggs from other nests and dropping them on the floor.
    Read all the articles in that Category.  I wouldn’t put anything past sparrows.  If they can steal another breed of birds nest and get rid of other eggs then, I suppose they could do it to their own breed.

    Have you seen this happen?  I just wondered why you asked the question. Thanks for getting in touch please give us more information about your question