Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

House sparrow

House sparrows were introduced to New Zealand by European settlers over 150 years ago. They are now the most abundant bird in New Zealand’s gardens.

Scientific name: Passer domesticus
Other names: English sparrow,  tiu

New Zealand Status: Introduced
Conservation Status: Naturalised

Where they feed: Ground, shrubs and trees.
What they eat: Invertebrates, seed, nectar and fruit

Garden types

House sparrows are found in 80-90% of surveyed gardens. In gardens where people feed birds, house sparrows are not only more likely to be seen but they will also be found in much higher numbers.

Garden location

House sparrows are found in gardens throughout New Zealand but, on average, are most abundant in gardens on the North Island. Highest numbers of this species are seen in gardens within Gisborne, Manawatū-Wanganui and Marlborough. Lowest numbers are observed in the eastern and southern regions of the South Island.