Category Archives: Do sparrows attack other birds

sparrow murderers together?

 I posted awhile back about sparrows taking over a Robin’s nest in my back yard. !

Well they scared off the Robin as she never came back.  The odd thing is though is that I never found any dead baby birds.  I found egg shells on the ground so I know she laid them but where are the babies? 

The sparrows sat and picked in her nest for about a week and then they disappeared too. There is nothing in the nest either.  I checked it all out.  hmmm very odd

I have always been a animal and bird watcher since I was a young child.  I hung out with the woods with the critters more than I did with people.

In all the years I have watched nature, I have never seen anything like
that happen before.

The sparrows acted totally as if if was their nest.  They sat on the edge
of it chirping away …flying back and forth and bending their heads inside the nest.
Sometimes they would even sit in it.  I thought at first they were feeding the Robin’s babies and then I guessed they were probably eating them.

 Thank you Linda for sharing this.  Did the sparrows take the robin’s eggs /chicks?  It really sounds like it doesn’ t it.  It it is very odd.  I wonder how many times this happens out of our view?


Yesterday evening I observed a male house sparrow ‘divebombing’ a male blackbird. 

On the first occasion the blackbird was simply foraging in the lawn, on the second he was singing from a branch at the top of the apple tree.  Why would the sparrow do this?  Is it a territory thing? 

On each occasion the sparrow made a swoop and went for the blackbird’s head, but did not persist, flying off again about his business.  The blackbird seemed relatively unperturbed.


Thank you Deborah for this.

I have never ever seen such a thing.  I get sparrows and blackbirds in the garden every day.  Sometimes they feed together on the same bird table or on the ground feeder.

I must say the sparrows are more aggressive than the blackbirds.  The blackbirds always seem to hang back a bit.  But divebombing!  No I’ve never seen that.

Maybe it is a territory thing – if your garden is small and you put a lot of food out perhaps the sparrow wants the good territory all to itself!


Have any readers seen such things or do you have any bird stories.  Ordinary or extraordinary would be interestiang to hear about


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.


House Sparow chasing a Jackdaw

Hi, Very interesting posts. I live in Devon.

I would like to tell you that last year I noticed a House sparrow chasing a Jackdaw for over 40 metres including 4 change of directions – quite a coincidence as the sparrow was less than a metre away from the Jackdaw.


Isn’t it amazing the things that happen in our countryside.  I wonder what Bill Oddie would say to that. 

House sparrow chasing a jackdaw goes against all the normal bird behaviour that you can think of.

Through people getting in touch with me I have heard of a lot of ‘bullish’ sparrow behaviour.  Maybe I should write a book!

Thanks for telling us about this.  I wish I’d seen it.   


Killer sparrows

Sparrows  kill other birds and eat all the food at the feeders.  The House Sparrows have killed an entire nest of Bluebirds andRobins

Purplepigphoto who is a photographer and birder in USA sent me this.  I read that he did not like sparrows and I asked him if he could learn to love them.  I can see now why he dislikes them.

Are American Sparrows different to British Sparrows

I’ve received some facts about sparrows taking swallow eggs and harming a robin’s nest, plus a few more observations  and I know they are bossy birds but do they harm other birds nests routinely? 

I put food in different areas of the garden and find ‘gang’s of sparrows stay together at one feeding area.  Other birds mingle together at the other feeders and never join in when a flock of sparrows are eating. 


Sparrow taking over a nest that has young robins in

A Robin built a nest under my eaves through this spring.
I watched her sit on them and apparently they hatched as I found blue egg shell in the garden beneath. 
However, today…a male sparrow has taken over the nest and appears to be picking at something in the next or taking food out of the baby birds’ mouths. 
I can’t tell what’s going on. 
He sits on the edge of the next chirping away.  He flies to a fro the nest. 

What do you make of this?
Also…I haven’t seen the Robin come to her next in a couple of days.


I received the above question the other day.  What do you make of this?

 Here are two other times when sparrows seem to have thrown other birds out of nests. Click on these links if you would like to read about it.





 Here is my reply to the comment :

Thank you for sending this.  I will do an article about it.  I have a reader called Jennie who has told me about sparrows sabotaging a nesting box that had wrens in it!  It is on birdtable news on 29th April.
There is also a story from 1912(!) about sparrows evicting a martin from it’s nest.  That is on my blog dated 31 March 2009. 
I have never heard of such a think until I started birdtablenews.  From what you saw and what Jeannie and the 1912 Gent saw it does seemthat sparrows can get nasty sometimes.  Maybe it is when food is scarce – I don’t know, but will see if I can find out more.
Birds do attack other birds.  Sparrowhawks eat sparrows and other birds, maybe this is a continuation.  I do not know I am only jumping to this conclusion because of my other notes.  Trisha from Bird Table News


Please contact me if you can think of a reason for the above, or if you have have heard of robins being aggressive with other bird’s nests – or robins being aggressive at all.  I’d love to hear. Trisha


sparrows plotting against other birds

Sparrows wrecking a  jenny wrens nest! 

Jeannie sent a really interesting bird watching observation about sparrows trying to stop a jenny wren nesting.  I’ve put her comment below my notes. Read it it’s really interesting.

A while ago I read about  Sparrows evicting a martin in 1912.  The sparrows took over the martins nest.  If you read the article  that I have put at the end of this post you will see that the martins got their own back.

I’m glad Jennie sent this as information because  when I put it with my 1912 story it shows that sparrows must often take over other nests and maybe have been doing it for years.   Bird against bird again!

Here is Jeannie’s birdwatching note –

a pair of sparrows have sabotaged my nesting box which had little jenny wrens in there. 

The hole is too small for them but they poked their heads in and dragged out bits of nest. 

Now one of them is sitting as though ‘on guard’ on the box ledge.  why have they done this, your quess is as good as mine.


 Click the link below to read how martins got their own back when sparrows evicted them

Story of a sparrow evicting a martin in 1912


What do you think.  Do you think it shows birds have brains and can think things through.

Have a good day


Sparrow evicting a martin

Autumn 1912 – The bossy sparrow.

Another curious incident was related by another man, a very old wild-fowler of the place.  He said that when he was a young man living in his home a number of martins bred every year on his cottage.

They thought a great deal of their martins and were proud to have them there, and every spring he used to put up a board over the door to prevent the entrance from being messed up by the birds.  One spring a pair of  martins made their nest just above the door and had no sooner completed it than a pair of sparrows stepped in and took possession and at once began to lay eggs.

The martins made no fight at all, but did not go away;  they started making a fresh nest as close up as they could against the old one.

The entrance to the new nest was made to look the same way as the first, so that the back part was built up against the front of the other.  It was quickly made and when completed quickly blocked up the entrance of the old nest.

The sparrows had disappeared; he wondered why after taking the nest that did not belong to them they had allowed themselves to be pushed out in this way.

At the end of the season, after the departure of the martins, he got up to remove the board, and the double nest looked so curious he thought he would take this down too and examine it.

On breaking the closed nest open he was astonished to find the hen sparrow in it, a feathered skeleton still sitting on four eggs.



This is an extract from ‘Adventures Among Birds’ by W H Hudson