How Long Do Sparrows Live? (Sparrow Lifespan)

Sparrows are notorious for being fiercely competitive in nesting and food. They aren’t afraid to take over another bird’s feeder or, in certain circumstances, their nesting place.

The only explanation for this is that they are not fussy eaters and will live in any cavity or aperture. Sparrows have a three-year lifespan on average. House sparrows have a limited lifespan of 4 – 5 years on average. Predators, the environment, and illnesses all impact their longevity.

What is an Average Lifespan of a Sparrow?

A wild sparrow may survive up to three years in the wild. They may also survive for longer periods, as evidenced by the world record for the longest-living Sparrow. Their typical lifespan in the wild, on the other hand, is substantially shorter.

It takes 11 days for a sparrow egg to hatch. The fledgling birds leave the nest at 14 days old and remain on the premises after they leave the nest for a day or two. The chicks are self-sufficient 7-ten days following leaving the nest.

They become vulnerable to various things once they reach adulthood, impacting their longevity.

Lifespan of Various Species of Sparrow

golden crown sparrow

Sparrow Species Average Lifespan
House Sparrow 3 Years
Eurasian Tree Sparrow 3 Years
Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow 2 – 3 Years
Wild Sparrow 3 Years
Song Sparrow 3 – 5 Years
Bachman’s Sparrow 3.9 Years
White-crowned Sparrow 13 Years
Lincoln’s Sparrow 7.6 Years
Nelson’s Sparrow 7.1 Years
Olive Sparrow 6.9 Years
Clay-colored Sparrow 5.1 Years
Field Sparrow 7.8 Years
Five-striped Sparrow 4 Years
Fox Sparrow 9.7 Years
Golden-crowned Sparrow 10 Years
Grasshopper Sparrow 7.1 Years
Harris’s Sparrow 2 Years
Rock Sparrow 2 – 5 Years

Factors Affecting Sparrow’s Lifespan

The lifespan of sparrows depends primarily on the species, but some factors pose a threat to their life. If such factors are avoided, a sparrow can live an average life of about seven years.

Following are the factors controlling the lifespan of Sparrow.

  1. Predators
  2. Environment
  3. Diseases
  4. Humans 
  5. Sparrows themselves
  6. Parasites
  7. Pesticides
  8. Injuries

How Are Predators Linked with Sparrow’s Lifespan?

Lark Sparrow

House sparrows have several predators, including house cats, different kinds of rodents, small hawks, and certain magpies, such as crows and grackles, even though they are wild birds to other songbirds notably eastern bluebirds.

Every year, domestic cats millions of species in the United States, the majority of which are sparrows. Crows, grackles, and tiny hawks have devoured bird eggs, hatchlings, and even adults. Squirrels, both red and grey, prey on sparrow nests.

Environment Plays a Pivotal Role in Reducing its Lifespan

Even though sparrows are very adaptable to their surroundings, climate change substantially impacts their numbers globally. Sparrows are continually losing adequate resources to sustain their lives due to global warming.

Diseases Have Readily Decreased the Number of Sparrows

Coccidiosis and sarcosporidiosis are protozoan infections that can kill sparrows.

Because these birds fly in groups and dwell in colonies, an epidemic can significantly diminish their number. Harsh winter conditions can also shorten sparrows’ lifetime.

Role of Humans in Declining Sparrow’s Lifetime

Sparrows die as a result of humans dismantling their nests. These little songbirds have been known to construct homes in any cavity in your home. Parents will abandon their nests if you remove the nests or visit them regularly. Baby sparrows cannot survive without their parents.

Furthermore, because house sparrows are undesirable species in the United States, killing them is permissible under federal law. We don’t condone the killing of birds because we adore them. If sparrows are becoming a problem in your yard, humanely remove them.

Sparrows Themselves are Responsible

Because house sparrows are hostile, they may cause the death of other sparrows. Sparrows will always strive to demonstrate dominance over less dominant sparrows by frightening, assaulting, and killing them.

They sometimes destroy the embryos and kill the chicks.

Mother sparrows also murder diseased or sick chicks to safeguard their other healthy offspring. They frequently remove diseased young from the nest. Why do diseased chicks’ moms usually transfer them instead of killing them? Mother sparrows who are just starting aren’t as smart as they should be.

Parasites Effectively Contract the Life Period of Sparrows

Summer’s scorching heat might render sparrows prone to parasitic infections. Chicken mites, which feed on the blood of sparrows, are usually inevitable. As a consequence, sparrows get deadly illnesses that can lead to death.

Sparrows and Pesticides

Pesticide overuse has resulted in dwindling sparrow populations across the world. According to research, a solitary seed covered with neonicotinoids, its most widely used pesticides today, may kill a sparrow, particularly a sparrow.

Furthermore, another often used pesticide, imidacloprid, causes sparrows to lose weight. As a result, sparrows must delay their migration and cannot reproduce. As more than just a result, their numbers are dwindling over time.

Injuries Affecting Sparrows

Every year, millions of sparrows, primarily song sparrows, are harmed in collisions with windows in the United States. According to several studies, approximately 60% of window accidents are lethal, resulting in the death of sparrows.

How to Increase the Lifespan of Sparrows?

White-crowned Sparrow

Following measures must be taken to increase the lifespan of sparrows: 

1. Discouraging Predators

Keep your home cats far from bird feeders and nest boxes in your backyard, as many sparrows are sensitive to cats. If you must allow your cats to go outside, keep an eye on them.

You may do this by attaching bells on your domestic cats to inform you when they approach.

Whenever it comes to other possible predators, such as squirrels, crows, and tiny hawks, you should build secure birdhouses for sparrows to breed inside and maintain the birdhouses out of reach of predators. Set up pipe feeders in your yard to keep roosters and small hawks away.

2. By Keeping Sparrows in a Clean Birdhouse

Sparrows are more susceptible to illnesses and infections than other birds.

That’s why you should constantly maintain the feeders and bird nests clean, especially during a mating season. Soak the feeders in a mix of 8 parts bleach to 2 parts water to clean them.

In your yard, tidy feeders and nesting boxes draw a variety of sparrows. You can also lessen the risk of sickness spreading among other sparrows. If you are unable to clean the items, get an expert to do it.

3. By Not Hurting Sparrows

Despite the fact that sparrows might be a hassle in the mornings, you should not harm them. Sparrows should not be killed. Don’t harm the nests if they make them anyplace in your house. Don’t try to move the eggs if you find them accessible in the nests.

Wait till the ladies have flown away. The use of hazardous pesticides is another technique to damage sparrows. A pesticide-coated seed may harm these little birds. Don’t use chemicals in your yard if you want to attract sparrows to your yard with a choice of food and water.

4. Keeping Sparrows in Captivity

savannah sparrow

Sparrows that are raised in captivity are far more secure than wild birds. Captive sparrows do not need to be worried about animals preying on them. They are, however, insignificant in comparison to the dangers and stress of existence faced by other wild birds.

Many biologists believe that confinement is the only way to prevent extinction. If somehow the sparrows are left to their own devices in the wild, they will most likely go extinct. Loss of habitat, hurricanes, predation or even fire ants is to blame.

In comparison, confinement may appear to be a safer option.

5. By Not Using Harmful Pesticides

Pesticides are detrimental to both people and birds. Or use them on your lawn, or planting pesticide-coated seeds will steadily kill birds.

We are bird lovers thus, we oppose its use of insecticides, pesticides, or any other agents that can harm birds and disrupt nature’s ecosystem

6. By Not Removing the Sparrow Nest

The house sparrow is a little bird that does not cause many problems. If they build nests in your house, don’t harm them or remove them all at once. Don’t touch the eggs and larvae if you notice them.


You won’t know how long sparrows live till you keep them in captivity. As a result, determining how long sparrows may live is difficult. It is dependent on several other elements that we are unable to control.

It is, nonetheless, our obligation as bird enthusiasts to raise awareness.


Is it true that sparrows always come back to the very same nest?

Sparrows seldom revisit the same nesting and instead create new ones. They are also protected from predators as a result of this.

Which meteorological conditions do sparrows have the best chance of surviving?

Summer is a better time for sparrows to survive than winter. In extreme weather, that becomes tough to find food.

Is it possible to maintain a sparrow as a pet?

Keeping house sparrows as pets is legal. Other wild sparrow species, on the other hand, are legally protected. So, prior to keeping them as pets, double-check your state’s laws.

Last Updated on March 22, 2023 by Lily Aldrin

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.

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