Seasonal habitat selection by house sparrows across the urbanization matrix in Delhi, India


  • Shikha Choudhary Amity Institute of Forestry & Wildlife, Amity University, Noida (UP), Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Netrapal Singh Chauhan Amity Institute of Forestry & Wildlife, Amity University, Noida (UP), Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Rajiv Kalsi Department of Zoology, Mukand Lal National College, Yamuna Nagar, Haryana, India



Conservation, east Delhi, habitat selection, house sparrow, urbanization


House sparrows are associated with rural and urban regions and are a common species of any urban ecosystem. Previous studies confirm that urbanization and industrialization are two major factors causing the loss of suitable foraging and nesting space in urban areas for house sparrows, contributing to their rapid population decline. In this context, we studied habitat selection by sparrows and the influence of season and urbanization on it. Totally 58 transects were traversed from August 2017 to July 2018 to locate house sparrows across five seasons and five urbanization types. Habitat variables for each occupied site and systematically selected sites were quantified.  We found that suburban and high-density urban areas were mostly used by the species. Habitat variables like the presence of residential areas, old buildings, vegetation, water, grocery shops, food provision, small eateries, open drainage systems, and open household waste dump influenced the habitat selection by house sparrows. In order to conserve sparrows in Delhi, it is very important to conserve its habitat or artificially create it by the installation of artificial nest boxes and by providing food and water for them.


Ali S., Ripley S.D. 1987. Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan, compact edition, Oxford University Press, New Delhi.

Balaji S., Baskaran S., Rajan M.K., Pavaraj M. 2013. Investigating the causes for the decline and strategies to conserve house sparrow, P. domesticus in Sivakasi Taluk, Virudhunagar district, Tamil Nadu, India. World Journal of Zoology 8(3):278-284.

Balakrishnan P., Jijeesh N., Kurikkal M.S., Maya T., Lijitha M.P., Bhaskar R.R., Vipeesh N. 2011. Distribution, abundance and nest site characteristics of the house sparrow (P. domesticus) in Manjeri municipality, Kerala.Technical Report Submitted to Wildlife Research and Conservation Trust. NSS College, Manjeri.

Balmori A., Hallberg O. 2007. The Urban Decline of the House Sparrow: A Possible Link with Electromagnetic Radiation, Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 26(2): 141 –151

Bhattacharya R., Roy R., Ghosh S., Dey A. 2010. Observations on house sparrow at Bandel, Hoogly. Proceedings of national seminar on biodiversity, water resource and Climate change issues, Department of Environmental Science, Kalyani University: 14-18.

BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: P. domesticus. http://www., accessesd on 04/07/2019.

Census data of Delhi city 2011. Accessed in August 2019.

Chamberlain D.E., Toms, M.P., Cleary-McHarg R., Bank A.N. 2007. House sparrow (Passer domesticus) habitat use in urbanized landscapes. Journal of Ornithology148:453–462.

Crick H., Robinson R., Appleton G., Clark N., Richard A. 2002. Investigation into the causes of the decline of starlings and house sparrows in Great Britain, BTO Research Report No. 290, DEFRA, Bristol.

Dandapat A., Banerjee D., Chakraborty D. 2010. The case of the disappearing house sparrow (P. d. indicus). Veterinary World 3(2):97-100.

Dhanya, R. and Azeez, P.A., 2010. The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) population of Arakku township, Andhra Pradesh, India. Indian Birds5(6):180–181.

Erskine A.J. 2006. Recent declines of house sparrows, Passer domesticus, in Canada’s maritime provinces. The Canadian Field-Naturalist 120:43–49.

Hussain A., Dasgupta S., Bargali H.S. 2014. Case of house sparrow (Passer domesticus) population decline: role of semi-nomadic pastoralist community (van gujjars) in their conservation. International journal of conservation science 5(4):493-502.

Kanaujia A., Kumar A., Kushwaha S., Kumar A. 2015. Spatial distribution and habitat preference of the house sparrow, P. domesticus in the urban, semi-urban and rural landscape of Lucknow and its neighbouring areas, Uttar Pradesh, India. Biodiversity& Environment 57(2):182-188.

Khera N., Das A., Srivastav N., Jain S. 2010. Habitat wise distribution of house sparrow, P. domesticus in Delhi, India. Urban Ecosystem 13(1):147-154.

Lowther P., Cink C. 1992. House Sparrow. Poole, A., Stettenheim, P. & Gill, F. (eds.) The Birds of North America No 12. Philadelphia. Philadelphia Academy of Sciences.

Marzluff J. 2001. Worldwide Urbanization and its Effects on Birds. In Avian Ecology and Conservation in an Urbanizing World (Eds. Marzluff, J., Donnelly and Bowman).Kluwer Academic Publishers Group.

Modak B.K. 2015. Impact of urbanisation on house sparrow Distribution: a case study from greater Kolkata, India. Proceedings of Zoological Society, DOI 10.1007/s12595-015-0157-4.

Nath A., Singha H., Deb P., Das A.K., Lahkar B.P. 2015. Nesting in a crowd: The response of house sparrow towards proximity to spatial cues in commercial zones of Guwahati city. Proceedings of Zoological Society. Doi: 10.1007/s12595-015-0149-4

Robinson R.A., Siriwardena G.M., Crick H.P.Q. 2005. Size and trends of the house sparrow Passer domesticus population in Great Britain. Ibis 147:552‐562.

Shaw L.M., Chamberlain D., Evans M. 2008. The house sparrow Passer domesticus in urban areas: reviewing a possible link between post‐decline distribution and human socioeconomic status Journal of Ornithology 149:293‐299.

Shaw L.M. 2009. Investigating the role of socioeconomic status in determining urban habitat quality for the House Sparrow, Passer domesticus, PhD Thesis, University of Exeter.

Siriwardena G.M., Robinson R.A., Crick H.Q.P. 2002. Status and population trends of the house sparrow Passer domesticus in Great Britain, BTO Research Report No. 290:33–51.

Sudhira H.S., Gururaja K.V. 2013. Of House sparrows and human settlements, distribution of house sparrows in Bangalore, India. Working Paper Series.

Summers-Smith J.D. 2003. The decline of the house sparrow: a review. Brit. Birds 96:439-446.

Vincent K. 2005. Investigating the causes of the decline of the urban house sparrow Passer domesticus in Britain. PhD thesis, De Montfort University, Leicester.



How to Cite

Choudhary, S. ., Chauhan, N. S., & Kalsi, . R. (2019). Seasonal habitat selection by house sparrows across the urbanization matrix in Delhi, India. Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity, 3(4), 57–65.