Swallow: Identification and Behaviour

Swallow: Identification and Behaviour

The Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) is a passerine bird from the sparrow family. It is smaller than a House Sparrow, but its appearance is similar.

Its chest is a chestnut-brown mantle flecked with black and pale grey-brown. It has distinguishing marks which are a chestnut crown, double white wing bars and a black patch on the ear coverts.

It is a gregarious bird with a distinctive call which sounds like a high-pitched "chip", and its song is a repeated variation of its call. It's seen in small flocks, and breeds in small groups. The Tree Sparrow is found in woodland edges, hedgerows and farmland, and this scarce bird is less likely to live near people.

It naturally nests in tree holes but as the countryside has been 'tidied up' and ageing orchards and trees have been removed so have the Tree Sparrow nest sites. The numbers of the Tree Sparrow have declined over the last few decades, and it is now a red-listed species of conservation concern.

Tree Sparrows need a place to breed and - of course - something to eat. So, if you have a garden, there is a way you can help by providing shelter and a place to breed, 'hole-type' nest boxes are a great one which they will readily use, and the required entrance hole size for the nest box is 32mm (1¼") diameter.

The Tree Sparrow

They feed mainly on small wild plants, seeds from grasses and insects, and they are very fond of millet and sunflower seeds.

Haith's Original Wild Bird food is an impressively popular, affordable selection of bird seeds suitable for year-round feeding to a wide variety of garden birds and appreciated by all sparrows. It's ideal for ground and bird table feeding as well as tube-types bird seed feeders. Don't be fooled by its affordability, though, it's still a Haith's SUPERCLEAN™ bird food, and it contains high-energy sunflowers and wholegrain cereal for slow-release energy. It's a winning recipe that's worked since the 1960s.

Tree Sparrows consume a wide variety of seeds especially during the breeding season and - as they have suffered a severe decline - it is vital that we do everything we can to help the small population that remains in Britain.

Written by Tina Jakes

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