Eurasian Tree SparrowPasser montanus

adult
Rob Curtis/VIREO
adult
Rob Curtis/VIREO
adult
Martin Hale/VIREO
Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Description

6" (15 cm). Streaked brown above, dull white below. Crown chocolate brown, throat black, cheek white with prominent black spot. Sexes alike. Male House Sparrow similar, but has gray crown and lacks black spot on cheek.

Voice

Loud chirping, similar to that of House Sparrow.

Listen

calls #4
calls #1
calls #3
calls #2

Habitat

City parks, suburban areas, and farmland.

Range

Introduced around St. Louis, Missouri, in 1870. Native to Europe and much of Asia.

Discussion

This introduced species differs from its relative, the House Sparrow, in that the sexes are alike. It is much less aggressive and quarrelsome, and it is more gregarious, often assembling in larger flocks. Altogether, the Eurasian Tree Sparrow is a more attractive bird, both in appearance and behavior. These birds sometimes visit grainfields and feed on corn, oats, and wheat, but they also consume many injurious weed seeds and, to a lesser extent, insects.

Nesting

5 brown-spotted buff eggs in a tree cavity, bird box, or hole in a wall.

Similar Species

adult

Black-throated Sparrow

5 1/4" (13 cm). Gray above, white below, with striking black throat and breast; two conspicuous white stripes on sides of head, one above and one below the eye. Sexes alike.

adult, breeding

Harris's Sparrow

7 1/2" (19 cm). Adult has black crown, throat, and chest; pink bill; gray face; brown back, wings, and tail; and white abdomen with spotted or streaked sides.

adult male

Dickcissel

6" (15 cm). Male like miniature meadowlark (yellow breast with black V), but has heavy bill and chestnut wing patch.

adult male, breeding

House Sparrow

5-6 1/2" (13-17 cm). Male has black throat, white cheeks, and chestnut nape; gray crown and rump. Female and young are streaked dull brown above, dingy white below, with pale eyebrow.

Vireo

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