Know your sparrows
Once you know their chirps or what they look like, house sparrows are really easy to tell apart from other birds.

In our area, you might confuse female house sparrows with dunnocks (also called hedge sparrows), especially because you can sometimes see house sparrows in hedges. Outside of Avon you might confuse house sparrows with tree sparrows and again house sparrows will spend time in trees.

Don't be confused, this simple guide will help. And once you've seen one house sparrow, you'll recognise them forever.

House sparrow features

House sparrows are friendly birds that like to be together in groups and you will often see them in the rooftops of houses, in trees or hedges or feeding on the ground.  But wherever they are you are bound notice all of the chirping and how lively they are. Male and female house sparrows look very different and young house sparrows look very like females. Listen to house sparrows chirping by listening to the sound clips at the bottom of this page.
Not to be confused with

Dunnock or (Hedge sparrow)
These behave very differently from house sparrows.  They are shy birds that flit about at the bottom of hedges and among flower beds.  They don't chirp like noisey house sparrows either.  

Tree sparrow
You will not find tree sparrows in our area.  They are easy to tell apart from house sparrows because they do not have a grey crown on their head - it's all chestnut in colour.  They are much less friendly than house sparrows and you do not usually see them in large groups.  If you see a sparrow in a tree in Avon, it will be a house sparrow!
House sparrow sounds

Male house sparrows chirp for up to half an hour to advertise their nest. All house sparrows chirp at any time of year and when they are annoyed, they have a special chirp to tell other house sparrows to stop crowding them. Large flocks of house sparrows will chatter together, especially in the winter or as the sunrises.  Listen to the sound clips below, courtesy of Nigel Tucker.

Dunnocks and hedge sparrows sound very different, so if you hear sounds like these you have house sparrows!

House Sparrow Single Call
House Sparrow Flock
House Sparrow Annoyance Calls
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