Bird Watching (UK) - - Species -

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.

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