Smaller than a house sparrow and more active, with its tail often cocked. It has a chestnut brown head and nape (rather than grey) and white cheeks and collar with a contrasting black cheek spot. They are shyer than house sparrows in the UK and are rarely associated with people, although in continental Europe they often nest in buildings just like house sparrows.
The UK tree sparrow population has suffered a severe decline, estimated at 93 per cent between 1970 and 2008. However, recent Breeding Bird Survey data is encouraging, suggesting that numbers may have started to increase, albeit from a very low point.
What they eat:
Seeds and insects
- UK breeding:
- 200,000 territories