Thursday, January 11, 2018

Review of Facts on the Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Distinguishing Features

The Eurasian tree sparrow is similar to the house sparrow but with a few distinguishing features.  The most notable one is the black patch in the middle of a pure white cheek.  You can see that feature in the photo above.  These birds also have a rich chestnut colored crown and nape.  Both sexes are similar and the young birds are just a duller version of the adult birds.  

I had seen these birds in our yard for several years and did not realize they were different from the house sparrows until I took some photographs and started to study their features.  Since they are only in a limited region of the USA I did not find them in my pocket field guide to birds and had to do a bit more searching online to find more information. 


History in USA

Eurasian Tree Sparrows were first introduced in the USA when 20 birds were brought to St. Louis, Missouri from Germany.  It is said that these birds probably would have multiplied and spread except that the House Sparrow was introduced to the US at about the same time.  The House Sparrow is a tougher bird and kept the Eurasian Tree Sparrows from spreading.  Today you mostly find these birds around the St. Louis area, although you may find them in other parts of Missouri, Illinois and southern Iowa.  We live about 40 miles west of St. Louis and have quite a few of the birds in our yard year round.  They seem to stay in some of our low shrubs around our house.  They are frequent visitors at both our finch feeders and our wild bird feeders.  They also like to visit our birdbath.

More Information

If you would like to read more about these interesting birds, I would suggest the following link where I gathered much of my information. Audubon Field guide   At this site you can also listen to the calls of the birds.

Bird Guide

I find this bird guide to be  valuable tool for identifying birds in my backyard.  It did have a small blurb on Eurasian tree sparrow under the heading Old World Sparrows.

                                                               


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

3 comments:

  1. How fascinating that you have a 'local' bird. It should be renamed the St. Louis Sparrow. Maybe the Redbirds should adopt it for their image since it's a St. Louis bird.... LOL. Beautiful photographs of this rare bird. Thanks for sharing, Mary Beth.

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  2. Oh, they are so precious! To my knowledge, I have never seen one. I doubt I would have picked up on their coloring if one flew past me and definitely not from a distance. I admit, that is the reason I love taking pictures so much myself. I can really see something up close. Next time I am in St. Louis, I am definitely going to watch for one!

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  3. Gosh Mary Beth, you really do teach me something new each time I read one of your reviews. I did not know about this bird at all and I don't believe I have ever seen one personally. Then again I do live quite a bit north of you. Thank you for introducing me to this lovely little sparrow. It really is pretty.

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