Living Bird Magazine
Plump and long-tailed, American Tree Sparrows are busy visitors in winter backyards and weedy, snow-covered fields across southern Canada and the northern United States. Hopping up at bent weeds or even beating their wings to dislodge seeds from grass heads, they scratch and peck the ground in small flocks, trading soft, musical twitters. Come snowmelt, these small rusty-capped and smooth-breasted sparrows begin their long migrations to breeding grounds in the tundra of the far North.More ID Info
Winter is the time to go looking for American Tree Sparrows. Small flocks converge on snow-swept fields and bird feeders, where they feast on seeds on the ground. Here their bicolored bill and central breast spot help them stand out from other sparrows. Despite their name, you'll probably find them foraging on the ground rather than feeding in trees.
This species often comes to bird feeders. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.
The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation.