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American Tree Sparrow

ID Info
Silhouette SparrowsSparrows
American Tree SparrowSpizelloides arborea
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Passerellidae

Basic Description

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
image of range map for American Tree Sparrow
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

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.

Other Names

  • Chingolo Arbóreo (Spanish)
  • Bruant hudsonien (French)

Backyard Tips

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.

  • Cool Facts