House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) Use Cars to Shelter

Laure Cauchard*, Thomas Borderie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


During winter 2015 in Montreal (Canada), we observed on two occasions a group of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) hiding under the body of several cars, in the empty spaces between the wheels and the fender. On both occasions, it was either snowing or raining. This paper reports for the first time, to our knowledge, a description of birds using cars to shelter from rain or snow. Moreover, some individuals were engaged in continuous round trips between the car and bushes, seemingly to detect potential predators that would not be visible to the individuals under the car. Further study should examine the diversity of foraging and non-foraging innovations in different groups of birds, in order to better understand the evolution of behavioral flexibility and cognition in non-human animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-464
Number of pages4
JournalWilson journal of ornithology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • behavior
  • car
  • House Sparrows
  • innovation
  • Passer domesticus
  • shelter


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