Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

Key facts

Scientific name: Passer montanus

Status: Resident breeding species

Breeding birds: 200,000 territories

Conservation status: Red

Length: 14 cm

Wingspan: 20 – 22 cm

Weight: 19 – 25 g


Tree sparrows are smaller and more active then house sparrows. They have chestnut brown crowns and white bands around their necks, white cheeks smudged with black and a small black bib.

Tree sparrows have grey-brown underparts and brown backs and wings. Their bills are small and black, and legs are pale brown.

Male and female tree sparrows look similar while juveniles are paler and duller.


Tree sparrows build their nests in holes in trees, cliffs or buildings. They will also use nest boxes. The nest is made from twigs and leaves and lined with down.

Tree sparrows lay 2-9 smooth and glossy, white or pale grey eggs with darker markings. Both male and female tree sparrows incubate the eggs which hatch after 11-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge at 12-15 days.


Tree sparrows eat seeds and small insects, caterpillars and beetles.

Tree Sparrow

Where to see them

Tree sparrows are found in hedgerows, the edges of open woodland and orchards. They can be found mainly in the south and east of England and the Midlands although there are scarce populations in the far north and west.


Lars Edenius/xeno-canto

Did you know?

Although tree sparrows are rarer in Britain than house sparrows, they have a much larger worldwide distribution and are found throughout most of Europe and Asia including Indonesia and Japan.

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