How long does a sparrow live?

It is true that every creature must die at some time. But like me, you may be wondering, “how long does a sparrow live?” All creatures have different systems and are quite distinct in nature, so also are their lifespan different.

Some have the capacity to stay alive for many years, while a few years is the limit for others. Here, you’ll learn how long a sparrow can survive for. Just like there are several species of birds, sparrows are also diverse in species too.

Table of Contents

How long a sparrow will stay alive is largely dependent on its type of species. However, sparrows generally survive for five to seven years if they are able to stay away from predators who prey on them.

Factors That Affect the Lifespan of Sparrows

Apart from the natural phenomenon, there are some factors which decide how long a sparrow can stay alive:


This is common to every animal, even human beings. When a sparrow is prone to attack by predators, it can start counting out its days as it will almost be under attack every day, and sooner or later, the predator will succeed in its goal. 

However, where there are no predators, a sparrow will be able to live its life peacefully and probably live its full life in tandem with its body system. Illegal hunting and poaching also pose a threat to the lives of sparrows. 


The environment also plays a big part in determining how long a sparrow will be able to stay alive. A sparrow living in a habitat where it is able to get sufficient food, where it can breed successfully, will tend to live out its full years. Where there abound sufficient resources necessary for its survival, sparrows will be able to thrive and survive successfully.

How long does a sparrow live?

An environment free from climatic and natural disasters is also a big plus to the lifespan of a sparrow. Artificial threats by human beings is also a determinant factor. Acts like oil spills affect birds too. 

Diseases and Injuries

An epidemic will seriously deplete the numbers of sparrows and shorten their lives considerably. Sparrows move around in colonies and flocks. An epidemic will easily spread among them.

Injuries that lead to death also reduce the lifespan of a sparrow. Fatal injuries that cause a change in a sparrow’s lifestyle will also impact the length of its life. 

Lifespan of Various Species of Sparrows

  • House Sparrow: 3 years
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow: 3 years
  • Cape Sable seaside sparrow: 2-3 years
  • Wild Sparrow: 13 years 4 months
  • Song Sparrow : 3-5 years
  • Bachman’s Sparrow: 3.9 years
  • White-crowned Sparrow: 13 years and 4 months
  • Black-throated sparrow: 5 years
  • Brewer’s sparrow: 5.2 years
  • Chipping sparrow: 9.8 years
  • Clay-colored sparrow: 5.1 years
  • Field sparrow: 7.8 years
  • Five-striped sparrow: 4 years
  • Fox sparrow: 9.7 years
  •  Golden-crowned sparrow: 10 years
  • Grasshopper sparrow: 7.1 years
  • Harris’ sparrow: 2 years
  • Henslow’s sparrow: 6.5 years
  • Italian sparrow: 20 years
  • Lark sparrow: 7.8 years
  • Le Conte’s sparrow: 4.1 years
  • Lincoln’s sparrow: 7.6 years
  • Nelson’s sparrow: 7.1 years
  • Olive sparrow: 6.9 years
  • Rock sparrow: 2-5 years

How Long does a Sparrow live In Captivity?

Sparrows in captivity are much safer than birds that are free. Captive sparrows need not entertain any fear of predators preying on them. They are totally safe. The dangers and stress of survival they face are minute compared to those faced by other birds in the wild.

How long does a sparrow live?

They are properly cared for and well taken care of. They need not forage or search around for food. They don’t have to migrate because of the weather. All these factors contribute to their long life.

Do sparrows return to the same nest?

More often than not, sparrows do not return to their old nests, they prefer to build a new one in another location suitable for them. They do this so as to get rid of predators sometimes.

Do sparrows mate for life?

Yes, sparrows are faithful birds who will stay loyal to their mates throughout their lives. However, they do not stag single for long if their partner dies, they move on quickly and get a new mate within days of losing their former partners.

Can you keep a sparrow as a pet?

It is legal to keep house sparrows as pets, they are not protected by the same laws that relates to other wild species of sparrows. Concerning wild sparrows, you have to consult the law of your state so as to ensure it is not illegal to keep them as pets.


Yes, it is a form of companionship for sparrows. Pairs tend to survive longer when they stay together.

Sparrows will survive better in the summer than in the winter. It is very difficult for sparrows to survive in the winter due to the bitter cold and the difficulty in finding food.

No, different types of sparrows also have different life spans.

Final Words

Well, nothing lasts or stays alive forever, so also do sparrows; however, their lives differ from each different type of sparrows. Also, external factors also affect their lifespan. If they are able to stay safe, they can live out their full years.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

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