Image Credit: Sergey Yeliseev (Creative Commons, Flickr)

House sparrows are common birds.

In fact, on the third weekend of February, birders and citizen scientists participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) reported 269,792* house sparrows at over 28,521 different locations across North America.

[*Today is the last day for participants to submit bird checklists so these numbers could go even higher.]

And chances are, if you visit South America, Europe, Africa or Asia, you’ll likely find house sparrows there too.

It’s also likely that this drab little brown bird, ubiquitous in number and frequently found flitting about your house or farm field, never really drew your attention… until perhaps now.

Credit: Great Backyard Bird Count, 2012


As Rob Dunn explains in a new article for, just because this little brown bird is über common, doesn’t mean it’s not interesting. In fact, the ecology and evolution of the house sparrow is tightly linked to human geography and history.

Read more about The Story of the Most Common Bird in the World at

To learn more about the GBBC – including maps and results from this year’s count as well as how you can get involved in this citizen science project next year – check out the GBBC website.