The House Sparrow Feeding Preferences
The main fare of House Sparrows consists of small seeds. They are not very different from other species of birds in this way. House Sparrows would eat corn, oats, wheat, and most any other type of grains or weed seeds. It is not uncommon to see House Sparrows foraging for food on the ground, as it is their habit to do so. House Sparrows would also eat berries, nuts, and even scraps of food that are leftover by the human population.
The House Sparrows living in rural communities have the additional benefit of eating seeds coming from the feed of farm animals. On the other hand, the fare of urban House Sparrows consists more of commercial bird seeds that are found in most bird feeders. They also eat more weed seed than their rural counterparts.
If you want to attract House Sparrows to your backyard birdhouses or bird feeders, you can pretty much rest assured that with any kind of bird feed, you will meet success. The House Sparrow is very easy to attract. Just put in a smattering of any bird seed, sunflower hearts, suets, peanuts, livestock feeds, or even waste grains. You will certainly see House Sparrows sooner than later. Just an important note, though. Any bird enthusiast in North America would know that House Sparrows can become irritating at times. More than being aggressive birds when it comes to nesting, they can also be very aggressive when it comes to feeding. As such, you might want to have a separate feeder for this group of birds as they have the tendency to drive away other bird species from the feeding area.
Though the House Sparrow’s diet consists largely of plant matter, this bird does switch diets from time to time. This is especially true during the spring and the summer months. This change is due to the fact that they are usually feeding their baby birds, or nestlings during these months. As such, House Sparrows start eating insects and spiders. In fact, the diet of young nestlings is about 2/3 animal material. It has been observed that though House Sparrows eat only about 4% animal material, their contribution to decreasing the insect population is quite considerable.
Aside from the wild seeds and grains that House Sparrows eat, they also eat cultivated fruits from time to time. As such, sporadic damage to these plants may be expected wherever there are House Sparrows.