tree-sparrow defined in 1930 yeartree-sparrow - Tree-Sparrow;
tree-sparrow - Crown and back of head chestnut-brown; lore, ear-coverts, and throat black; neck almost surrounded by a white collar; upper parts as in the last; wing with two transverse white bars. Length, five and a half inches.
By a careless observer the tree-sparrow would, in most cases, be taken for the house-sparrow, and not looked directly at. When we know that there is a tree-sparrow, and meet with it, we notice the chief points in which it differs from the common species - the chestnut-coloured head, with black and white patches at the side, and the double bar on the wing.
The tree-sparrow is locally distributed throughout England and Scotland, but is nowhere abundant; in Wales and Ireland it is rare. With us it is a shy bird, being found, as a rule, at a distance from houses, in fields, on the borders of woods, in thickets growing beside streams, and in fir plantations. In some districts on the Continent it is far less shy of man, and lives in villages and towns, where it associates with the common sparrow, and is said to be just as tame. In many parts of Asia it is still more domestic. Edward Blyth wrote of it: ' In the great rice-exporting station of Akyab we have seen this species so familiarly hopping about in the public streets that it would only just move out of the way of the passers- by; and we have also known it breeding so numerously in dwelling- houses as to be quite a nuisance from its shrill, incessant chirping." This bird is the common house-sparrow of China and Japan, the Philippines, Burma, and more or less over the whole Malayan region.
In its habits it is more active and lively than its more domestic relation, and is more at home on trees, and may be seen moving about among the lesser branches and twigs with much freedom, sometimes seeking its food there, after the manner of the siskin and redpoll; but it feeds principally on the ground. It can scarcely be called a song-bird, its most song-like sounds being composed of a few chirruping notes uttered in the pairing season. Its voice, both in its attempted singing and in its ordinary chirp and call-notes, is much shriller than that of the common sparrow.
Like that species, it breeds both in holes and on trees. A hole in the rotten wood of a pollard willow by the waterside is a favourite site, and it also nests in holes under the eaves or thatch of a barn or other outhouse, and in holes in ruins, old walls, and rocks. The nest is made of dry grass, loosely put together, and lined with some soft material - wool, or feathers, or hair. Four to six eggs are laid, bluish white in ground-colour, the whole egg thickly mottled with brown of different shades. Two, and even three, broods are reared in the season.
In winter the tree-sparrows gather in small flocks, and are often found associating with the common sparrow, chaffinch, brambling, and other species. At this season they subsist principally on seeds of weeds and grass, but in summer they are partly insectivorous.
near tree-sparrow in Knolik
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