The Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus dilutus) is a passerine bird in the sparrow family.
The Eurasian Tree Sparrow has a chestnut crown and nape, with a black patch on each white cheek. It also has a black patch on its chin, throat, and the area between its beak and throat. Its beak is grey in summer and darker, almost black, in winter. Its upperparts are light brown, streaked with black. Its brown wings have two distinct, narrow, white bars. Its legs are pale brown.
It grows to 12-14 centimetres (5 inches) tall, with a wingspan of about 21 centimetres (8 inches). It is smaller than the House Sparrow which measures about 16 centimetres (6 inches) tall.
It is a common and widespread bird in Europe and Asia. It prefers open wooded countrysides and temperate zones rather than areas that are too cold. It migrates to warmer locations in winter.
It feeds mainly on seeds and grains found on the ground. Sometimes, it eats insects, spiders, millipedes, and centipedes.
It makes a messy nest of grass and hay, lined with feathers, in a hole in a tree, building, or in nest boxes. The female lays 5-6 eggs, which hatch in 12-13 days.
The chicks are born altricial—naked, blind, and helpless. It takes 15-18 days for the chicks to gain their flight feathers.
The Eurasian Tree Sparrow lives, on average, for 2 years.
[Location of photographs: Bukhara, Uzbekistan]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM