TREE SPARROW FACTS
Slightly smaller than the familiar House Sparrow, the Tree Sparrow is best recognised by its chestnut head and white cheeks. The sexes are identical.
Tree Sparrow populations have long been know to be cyclic, with numbers reaching a peak and then crashing. In the UK, a decline of 93% was noted on farmland between 1968 and 1999, and there were similar declines across western and north-western Europe during the 1990s, resulting in the species being entered onto the Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern.
They will come readily to feeders, and are attracted by husked black sunflowers. They have also shown a liking for red millet.
They nest most successfully in loose colonies, and will adopt suitable nest boxes.
If conditions are right they are multi-brooded, producing up to four broods of four or five chicks in a season.
They are a favourite prey of the Sparrowhawk, and their peak period of abundance in the UK in the 1960s coincided with the time when Sparrowhawk numbers were much reduced by pesticide poisoning.