a female (above) & a male (below) sparrow

a kind of bird – song bird – a small, plump body with brown-grey streaked with black on the back, (in some species) grey on the head (in some other) stripes of black, grey under parts (female less brown and more grey all over), short cone-shaped beak (bill), slender legs, medium-sized flat tail; size: (some species)  4-5 inches long, and weight: 12-15 grams, (some others) 6-7 inches long, and weight: 40-45 grams; feeds on (eats) seeds, grain, and insects, and edibles from the human garbage dumps; lives for, most species, on average, 3 years (some individuals live for 9-13 years); 35 species (some authorities or animal experts put the number at 51) found in most parts of the world

a male house sparrow

male ~~ cock

female ~~ hen

baby ~~ chick

group ~~ host, flight, quarrel, tribe

voice (call) ~~ chirrup, whistle, twitter

home ~~ nest (for laying eggs and raising chicks)

Special Features:

a chipping sparrow

Sparrows are the most familiar of all the wild birds in the world!

Sparrows have been associated with people for 10,000 years.  Sparrows are known to be the commonest, most widespread, most adaptable and most successful of all the wild birds!

{However, in the recent years, there has been a great decline in the populations of the sparrow, i.e. we do not see them in large numbers as we did some years ago, especially the ‘house sparrow’ which is supposed to be closest to the people!}

The ‘dusky seaside sparrow’ is the world’s loneliest bird.  It lives in a small area near Titusville, Florida, USA!

Note: The American sparrows, Java sparrow and the ‘hedge sparrow or Dunnock sparrow’ are not “true sparrows”!

Figures of Speech:

a row of sparrows on a wire


sparrow  (noun)  =  a smart and clever city-dweller (= a person who has lived all his/her life in a city)


sparrow-brain  =  (of a person) stupid


sparrow-cop  =  a policeman (police officer) who has lost honour and respect and given the lower position of patrolling for petty thieves


sparrow’s knee caps [an expression of insult indicating lack of muscles (thin body) of a person]


as peart as a sparrow  (‘peart’ = happy)


as chipper as a sparrow (‘chipper’ = cheerful, lively)


sitting in a row, like sparrows on a twig


a sparrow in hand is worth a pheasant flying by {a ‘sparrow’ = very small bird;  a ‘pheasant’ = large bird}


like sparrows flying out of one’s arse hole  [not to be used in formal situations] [a slang expression used to describe a young man’s first time sexual intercourse]


in the twinkling of a cock sparrow’s eyebrow  =  very quickly

Note 1: ‘Sparrow’, always with a capital ‘S’, is often found in the names of people, e.g. ‘Jack Sparrow’, ‘Andrew Sparrow’, ‘Stephen Sparrow’, etc. For an article that explains the origin of this word as a surname, please click here.
Note 2: There are different kinds of sparrow. To have a look at the pictures of all the species of sparrows, please click here.
Return to “hedge sparrow“.

About the Author:BC Kumar

BC Kumar, an English Language Teacher, taught in numerous countries including Ethiopia, Oman and India, shares his knowledge and passion for the English Language. Disclaimer: This is a free educational website and all content has been compiled by the author. All copyrights to images and videos belong to their respective owners.

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