This dapper sparrow with the chocolate head is a bit smaller than the House Sparrow. It is very widespread through Europe and Asia but absent from the North and from India. Most populations are sedentary but Northern birds are forced South by the snow.
These birds are gregarious with loose colonies formed by breeding birds. The build-up of a colony in nest boxes may take several years but many successful incidents have been reported. In many areas, such as Malaysia, this is the common sparrow in towns but, where the bigger House Sparrow is present, it may lose out and become the country cousin. Although mostly graminivorous invertebrates are needed during the breeding season.
This is one of the main victims of recent agricultural; change in Britain and the population is thought to have declined by over 90% in 25 years! The latest estimate is 110,000 pairs in Britain and only 9,000 in Ireland. The Tree Sparrow is only distantly related to the North American species.
A close cousin to the House Sparrow but slightly smaller and with a chocolate crown.
Length 140 mm Closed wing 70 mm Weight 22 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead