Saturday, 23 May 2015

Bird of the week - Tree sparrow

The tree sparrow is Passer montanus which is an odd name, presumably meaning mountain sparrow.  It is a handsome bird and is locally common (e.g. in my garden) but nationally is red listed.

Tree sparrows have taken over at least half a dozen boxes in the garden and others are nesting in holes in trees.  They like to lay claim to their box by sitting on the roof and cheeping.

Some are still collecting nesting material while others have fairly mature chicks.  One brood at least has fledged already.  They can have two or three broods in a season.

Tree sparrows enjoy a dust bath on a warm afternoon such as today.

Tree sparrow numbers declined catastrophically in the 1970s and 1980s and they are now absent from large parts of the south and west of the country.

The BTO Bird Atlas shows that the population in the north has increased recently.

Read more about tree sparrows here.  Listen to the BBC Radio 4 Tweet of the Day on tree sparrows here.

1 comment:

  1. We have them in the woodcrete box on the drive so can confirm one of those red dots in S Northumberland!