How to Tell the Difference Between Male & Female Sparrow's Songs

by Tatyana Ivanov
During mating season, male and female sparrows communicate by singing.

During mating season, male and female sparrows communicate by singing.

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The house or song sparrow is quite a chatty bird. Its short, repetitive chirp, usually transcribed as a "chirrup" can be used to attract a mate, establish dominance or warn of danger. During breeding season, the incessant call changes to communicate the intricacies necessary to attract a mate and build a nest. Identifying the sex of a sparrow is best done during this season, when the purpose of the male's and female's calls differentiates the tone and sound of the song.

Step 1

Listen to the sparrows' calls during the peak of mating season. House and song sparrows tend to mate from March to early August. During this time, the difference between the male's and female's calls can be best heard.

Step 2

Listen for an incessant and loud "chirrup" sound repeated over and over. This sound is typically transcribed as sounding like "chur-chur-it-it-it-it." This is the call of the single male trying to attract a mate. As annoying as this sound may be to you, it is music to the female sparrow's ears.

Step 3

Listen for an aggressive, or high-pitched call that sounds like a shrill "shree." This call is produced by the female sparrow after she has nested, when she is trying to protect her nest from danger.

Step 4

Listen for a soft call that sounds like "dee-dee-dee." This call is produced by the female when she has selected a mate and is ready to breed with him.

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