The Eurasian Tree Sparrow is 12.5-14 cm (5-5.5 in) long, with a wingspan of about 21 cm (8.25 in) and a weight of 24 g. The adult's crown and nape are rich chestnut, and there is a kidney-shaped black ear patch on each pure white cheek; the chin, throat, and the area between the bill and throat are black. The upperparts are light brown, streaked with black, and the brown wings have two distinct narrow white bars. The legs are pale brown, and the bill is lead-blue in summer, becoming almost black in winter.
Habitat and Distribution
The Eurasian Tree Sparrow's natural breeding range comprises most of temperate Europe and Asia through Southeast Asia to Java and Bali. In South Asia it is found in the temperate zone. In Australia, it is present in Melbourne, towns in central and northern Victoria and centres in the Riverina region of New South Wales. In Europe, it is frequently found on coasts with cliffs, in empty buildings, in pollarded willows or in open countryside with small isolated patches of woodland. It nests near wetlands.
It is a seed and grain eating bird which feeds on the ground in flocks with other birds. It eats weed seeds, such as chickweeds and goosefoot, spilled grain, also some invertebrates. It may also visit feeding stations, especially for peanuts.
The Eurasian Tree Sparrows reach breeding maturity at age one. They build their nests in a cavity in an old tree or rock face. The nest is an untidy mixture of hay, grass, wool or other material and is lined with feathers. The typical clutch size is five or six eggs, white to pale grey in colour and heavily marked with spots, small blotches, or speckling. Both parents incubate for 12-13 days.
Calls and Songs
The Eurasian Tree Sparrow has no true song, but its vocalisations include an excited series of tschip calls given by unpaired or courting males.