We have a large number of English sparrows that are
becoming quite a nuisance in our yard and garden. I have read several
articles and, to date, have not found an answer to my question.
Does the English sparrow have a natural enemy?
English Sparrows are more correctly called House Sparrows (Passer
domesticus) are not related to sparrows at all, but belong to the weaver
finches of Europe. None of these birds are native to North America and are
one of the few species not protected by law. They were introduced to the
US (New Jersey) from Europe around about 1890 and have spread throughout
NA since then.
In Illinois, during the last ten years, I have witnessed a decrease in the
number of these birds around my house due to the spreading of a truly
native bird, the House Finch. They compete with the House Sparrow and the
House Finch is visually more aggressive by my observations. However, the
only natural predator I have personally seen take House Sparrows are
hawks. The American Kestrel Hawk and the Cooper's Hawk have visited my
bird feeding stations a number of times to enjoy a meal of House
Sparrows. I live in a well populated area. Like many introduced species
of animals (and plants such as the dandilion), they have not been in the
new ecosystem long enough to have predators of any significance.
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Update: June 2012