Omnivores, includes many seeds,
grains and bugs.
Sparrow, English Sparrow, @#$%^&*! Starling, black bird,
For Decorating cars, sidewalks and homes with white and
purple polka dots. Plugging up vents. Consuming large
amounts of grain. Nesting in potted plants, behind
shutters, wreaths and ornamental light fixtures.
Sparrow – Up to 3 years on average.
Starling – Average of 1.5 years.
Sparrow – Spring to early fall.
Starling – Spring and early summer.
Sparrow – 2 to 4 clutches per year, each producing 3 to
7 young. Eggs are hatched in 12 to 14 days.
Starling – 1 to 2 clutches per year, each producing 3 to
6 young. Eggs are hatched in 12 days.
Young disperse after fledging and are capable of feeding
on their own. Fledged birds may appear too young to be
living on their own. Often a parent is close by to offer
protection and assistance. Fledged birds are incapable
of sustained flight and live on the ground for this
Both are invasive species not indigenous to North
America and have adapted to a wide variety of habitats
in cities, suburbs, towns, farmland and wood edges. Both
are rarely far from humanity.
Active during the day all year long.
Starling – During the fall and winter starlings will
form into large flocks of 500 plus birds. These ‘clouds’
of birds will twist and contort creating a unique show
in the sky.
Sparrow—During the winter sparrows band together and are
routinely found in low trees and shrubs. They also are
common invaders of large structures including barns, box
stores, and garden centers.
Sparrow – Weed and grass seed,
waste grains, insects, spiders,
fruit tree buds, flowers, crumbs
Starling – Almost equal amounts
of animal and plant food.
Includes beetles, grasshoppers,
ants, flies, caterpillars,
earthworms, grains, garbage,
cherries and mulberries.
Both – Driving native cavity nesters from nest boxes,
destroying native bird eggs, large quantities of
droppings, aggressive and noisy presence. Clogged dryer,
bathroom and kitchen exhaust vents due to nesting
debris. Disease vector species. Millions of dollars in
damage to agricultural interests and large retail
Starling – In late summer and fall flocks may contain
thousands of birds. Starling nests are often very large,
and in attics may appear as a bale of hay and be as tall
as a child (5 feet).
Utilize appropriate size
screening and manufactured vent
covers to correct vent openings
including dryers, bath exhaust,
convection oven, ridge and gable
vents. Remove nesting, perching
and roosting ledges on homes and
buildings. Secure access
openings on buildings. Use of
fogging agents for starling
flock dispersal. Use of food
based poisons. Trapping with
V-top and colony-style traps.
Sparrow – Males have black chin and breast patches,
white cheeks and a chestnut nape. Females are a drab and
Starling – Chunky bird with
short, yellow legs and a long,
straight, yellow bill. Black
coloration with iridescent
highlights. In flight they take
on a “fighter jet” or triangular
Risk & Disease
Large guano deposits harbor
multiple diseases including
salmonella. Infestations of bird
mites can also occur wherever
either species is nesting. Bird
mite issues develop into full
fledged infestations of houses
Cavity nesters. Will exploit
both natural and manmade holes,
gaps, spaces and cavities for
nest sites. House sparrows and
starlings kill and/or displace
native nesting birds for the
purpose of taking over nest
boxes, nest cavity locations and
to eliminate competition for