Biological Invasions

, Volume 12, Issue 9, pp 2955–2958 | Cite as

The earliest House Sparrow introductions to North America

  • Michael P. Moulton
  • Wendell P. CropperJr.
  • Michael L. Avery
  • Linda E. Moulton
Invasion Note


Several authors have argued that three separate introductions of roughly 100 individuals were required initially to establish the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) in the Brooklyn, New York area. We argue that these claims are in error and that the actual record suggests that it is likely the initial introduction of just 16 birds in 1851 was all that was required to establish the species in New York. We further suggest that a similar level of scrutiny of historical records will reveal more examples of misinterpretations and errors, casting doubt on the validity of studies that claim propagule pressure has played an important role in determining the fate of bird introductions.


House Sparrow Historical records Propagule pressure 



We thank Marilyn Howell at the National Wildlife Research Center for verifying some of the historical records.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael P. Moulton
    • 1
  • Wendell P. CropperJr.
    • 1
  • Michael L. Avery
    • 2
  • Linda E. Moulton
    • 1
  1. 1.University of FloridaFloridaUSA
  2. 2.USDA Wildlife ServicesFloridaUSA

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