Upperparts of male are chestnut brown with a gray crown, a black eye line and bill, a whitish gray cheek and a single white wing bar. Underparts are grayish tan, with a black throat and upper breast. Upperparts of female are tan, with darker reddish brown wings, a yellowish bill and a pale eyebrow; the single white wing bar is often indistinct, and the underparts are tan. The song is a repeated, slurred, nonmusical "chireep" or "chirip." The call is a harsh "chireep."
Similar species: The female dickcissel resembles the female house sparrow and may go unnoticed at bird feeders in the fall and early winter.
House sparrows are one of the most common birds that share human habitats. They forage at bird feeders, in fast-food parking lots and among shrubs and vines near buildings in urban, suburban and rural areas. You may also see them building nests in crannies of signs on "big-box" stores.