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Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Passer montanus ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: PASSERIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Native to the Old World, the Eurasian Tree Sparrow was released into the St. Louis, Missouri, area in 1870, where it became established. Unlike its close relative, the House Sparrow, it has not spread very far from the original point of introduction.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
5.5–5.9 in
14–15 cm
Wingspan
7.9–8.7 in
20–22 cm
Weight
0.6–1 oz
18–28 g
Other Names
  • Moineau friquet (French)
  • Gorrión molinero (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Eurasian Tree Sparrow typically lives near people, but it has been displaced from urban centers and into more rural areas by its larger and more aggressive relative the House Sparrow.
  • Outside of North America, the Eurasian Tree Sparrow shows considerable variation in plumage and size, which has resulted in the naming of up to 33 separate races. The North American birds came originally from Germany and are from the most widespread race.
  • The oldest recorded Eurasian Tree Sparrow in North America was at least 4 years old, when it was recaptured and rereleased during a banding operation in Illinois in 1972.

Habitat


Town

Wooded urban parkland, farms, and rural wood lots.

Food


Seeds

Grain and seeds.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
4–7 eggs
Egg Description
White to pale gray, heavily marked with spots, small blotches, or speckling.
Condition at Hatching
Naked and helpless.
Nest Description

Domed structure of loosely intertwined (not woven) stems of dried grass, straw, and rootlets surrounding a cup lined with softer materials such as feathers, fur, flower parts, waste paper, bits of cloth, string, and green leaves. Entrance is on side. Placed in naturally occurring hole in tree.

Nest Placement

Cavity

Behavior


Ground Forager

Forages on ground and in trees.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Eurasian Tree Sparrow is an introduced species to North American, and though its population is not large, it range is expanding. The North American Breeding Bird Survey estimated that numbers increased over 5% per year between 1966 and 2015. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 20 million, and it is unclear what percentage occurs in the U.S., but it is probably very small. The species rate a 5 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Eurasian Tree Sparrow is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List.

Credits

Range Map Help

Eurasian Tree Sparrow Range Map
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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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