A Quick Comparison of Bluebird and Sparrow Nests

bluebird nest vs sparrow nest

Ever wonder what the difference is between a bluebird nest and a sparrow nest? Both birds are common in North America, so you might see either type of nest in your backyard or out on a nature hike. Here’s a quick overview of some common features of both types of nests, as well as some distinguishing features of the bluebird nest vs sparrow nest.

Common Features

  • Both bluebird and sparrow nests generally have a cup-like shape, though the shape of the cups can vary somewhat.
  • The nests are usually made out of grass, twigs, leaves, and other plant material, all woven together with the bird’s saliva.
  • And both types of nests are usually lined with soft materials like feathers or fur. 

Distinguishing Features

  • One of the most obvious distinguishing features between bluebird and sparrow nests is size. Sparrows are much smaller birds than bluebirds, so their nests tend to be smaller as well.
  • Another difference is that bluebird nests usually have a narrow entrance hole at the top, while sparrow nests often have a side entrance.
  • And finally, sparrows typically build their nests in trees or bushes, while bluebirds will build theirs in tree cavities, on buildings, or on special nesting boxes designed for them. 

Where to find them:

Bluebirds are cavity nesters, which means they build their nests in holes in trees or man-made structures such as birdhouses. Sparrows, on the other hand, are ground nesters and build their nests on the ground beneath bushes or in thick grass. Because of this difference in nesting habits, you will usually find bluebird nests higher up than sparrow nests.

However, both types of birds will generally avoid nesting near human activity, so if you’re looking for a nest, it’s best to check secluded areas such as woods or fields. Keep in mind that both bluebirds and sparrows are protected by state and federal laws, so it’s important not to disturb a nest without permission from the appropriate authorities.

How to point them out:

Bluebirds and sparrows are two of the most common birds in North America. They are both small, seed-eating birds with blue or gray plumage. However, there are some key differences between the two species.

  • Bluebirds typically build their nests in trees or on ledges, while sparrows prefer to build their nests on the ground. Bluebird nests are also much larger than sparrow nests and are constructed with various materials, including grasses, leaves, and twigs. In contrast, sparrow nests are typically made from nothing more than a few bits of straw.
  • When trying to identify a bluebird nest, look for a well-constructed nest that is located high off the ground. Sparrow nests, on the other hand, tend to be messy and poorly built, and they are usually found close to the ground. By being aware of these key differences, you can easily point out a bluebird nest from a sparrow nest.


So there you have it—a quick comparison of bluebird and sparrow nests! Both types of birds are common in North America, so that you might see either type of nest in your backyard or out on a nature hike. Keep an eye out for the common and distinguishing features described here, and you’ll be able to tell these two types of nests apart quickly.