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Name: mary
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Question:
I found a Baby House Sparrow and raised it. This Sparrow is a female and is about 5 months old and very tame. We are keeping this bird as a pet. We are interested in possibly breeding this bird and was wondering if you can mix breed the House Sparrow with a Finch or type of Sparrow that you could purchase at a pet store? What is the life expectancy of the House Sparrow?



Replies:
In the wild most small birds only live a year or two; well cared for in captivity they might be able to make it twice that long, but don't count on it. There are some records of exceptional life lengths for some species of small birds, 8 or 10 years, but I haven't heard of any for house sparrows. I don't think you would be able to cross breed house sparrows with any of the others, but I couldn't say for sure. Hybridization normally occurs only between very closely related species; I don't know enough about genetics.

J. Elliott

p.s.: you should be aware that keeping almost all wild birds as pets is illegal - house sparrows are one of the three exceptions, the others being pigeons and starlings, because they are non-native and generally considered nuisances. So enjoy your sparrow but don't try it with native species!


House sparrows are aggressive, invasive pests that drive out native birds such as bluebirds. We'd all be better off it you didn't breed it.

Richard Barrans Jr., Ph.D.



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