Identification: Male House Sparrows are easily recognised by their grey crowns and variably-sized black bibs but females might be more difficult. However, nearly all the other dull brown birds with thick, conical bills have streaked rather than plain underparts. Even the otherwise similar Spanish Sparrow is faintly streaked below. Pale Rock Sparrows and Yellow-throated Sparrows are unstreaked below but they also have plain upperparts, quite unlike a House Sparrow. The only remaining problem species is the Dead Sea Sparrow which looks very similar but is smaller and neater.
Habitat: Breeds and winters in towns and cities, and also on farmland.
Distribution: An abundant species across Britain which is hard to miss, despite suffering recent declines.
Widespread and numerous in most of Europe.
Population: 2 600 000-4 600 000 breeding pairs found throughout Britain but rare in the Scottish Highlands. 800 000-1 400 000 breeding pairs from Ireland where it is most common in the east
55-73 million breeding pairs of perhaps the World's most numerous and ubiquitous bird live throughout Europe except the Norwegian highlands, Lapland and Sardinia. These figures include the numbers of 'Italian Sparrows'.The total World population is estimated to be around 500 million birds.