Pet House Sparrow
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?
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.
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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Update: June 2012