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Tree Sparrow

Eurasian Tree Sparrow Tree Sparrow Both Sexes
Streaked brown and black upperparts, chocolate brown crown, black smudge on cheeks
Distribution map - when and where you are most likely to see the species.
Passer montanus
Length: 14 cm  (5½")
Wing Span: 20-22 cm  (8-9")
Weight: 19-25 g  (¾ oz)
Breeding Pairs: 100 000
Present: All Year
Status: Red

Description

The Tree Sparrow is smaller and less stocky than the House Sparrow.

Males and females are alike and have a chocolate brown crown and white neck band or collar. Their white cheeks have a black smudge and they have a small neat black bib. The back and wings are a mixture of warm shades of brown and the underparts are pale grey-brown. The black bill is small with a yellow base. The legs are pale brown.

Juveniles are similar to adults but duller.

In flight, the Tree Sparrow has two white wing bars whereas the House Sparrow has only one.

Voice

Choose from Quicktime and mp3. Song
  Quicktime mp3

The Tree Sparrow has a song similar to the House Sparrow but it is a bit more cheerful.

Feeding

The Tree Sparrow lives in open woodland, orchards and hedgerows and so feeds mostly on seeds of grasses, weeds and cereals, such as barley and wheat. They also feed on insects, like aphids, caterpillars, flies and beetles.

They will visit bird tables for seed.

Nesting

A pair of Tree Sparrows will mate for life.

The Tree Sparrows' nest is made from twigs and leaves and lined with down, moss and hair, built by both birds in a hole in a tree, cliff, or building, or use a nest box. The nest may be a domed structure or a simple cup.

The eggs are about 19 mm by 14 mm. They are smooth and glossy, and white to pale grey with dark brown markings. Both adult birds share the duty of incubating the eggs as well as feeding the altricial young once they have hatched.

Breeding Data
Breeding Starts Number of Clutches Number of Eggs Incubation (days) Fledge (days)
April 2-3 2-9 11-14 12-14

Movements

Juveniles disperse from their natal sites but otherwise they are sedentary. Some continental birds winter in Britain.

Conservation

The breeding population has declined by more than 50% in recent times and so the Tree Sparrow appears on the Red List of birds of high conservation concern.

My Garden

Many years ago, in the mid-1970's, Tree Sparrows were almost as common as House Sparrows in our garden but for many years we have not seen any in our around the garden.


Last revision: 21 Feb 2015
Copyright © David Gains 1999-2017.
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