American Tree Sparrows: Hardy Winter Visitors

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS



American Tree Sparrows: Hardy Winter Visitors

Most winters, a few sparrows visit my yard, feeding on the seeds I scatter on the ground near my bird feeder. These particular sparrows have long tails, rusty crowns and eye-lines on their gray heads, and a distinctive dark breast spot. Looking more closely, I’ve noticed buff-colored patches on the sides of their pale breasts, two white wingbars, and streaked brown backs.

These birds are American tree sparrows (Spizelloides arborea), so named by European settlers who were reminded of Eurasian tree sparrows back home.

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