WEEK-BY-WEEK BIRDS TO SEEK: WEEK 6 SPARROWS

EVERY WEEK IN 2017 WE WILL HAVE NEW SUGGESTIONS FOR A DIFFERENT GROUP OF BIRDS TO LOOK FOR TO HELP DEVELOP YOUR #MY200BIRDYEAR LIST.

This week, it is Sparrows

There are two species of sparrow in the UK. When many of us were young, we used to think there were three, but the hedgesparrow is now more commonly called the Dunnock! So, we have the House Sparrow and the Tree Sparrow.

Female (left) and male (right) House Sparrow

Female (left) and male (right) House Sparrow

Female House Sparrow

Female House Sparrow

Male House Sparrow

Male House Sparrow

 

They are not particularly difficult to identify. The most important thing to realise is that unlike House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow males and females look the same as each other. If you see a ‘female looking’ sparrow, it will be a House Sparrow.

Tree Sparrow (males and females are not distinguishable in the field)

Tree Sparrow (males and females are not distinguishable in the field)

 

Otherwise, plumage wise, Tree Sparrows have red-brown crows and white cheeks with a black spot and a white collar. House Sparrows have grey crowns, greyer cheeks with no black spot and no white collar.

As a rule Tree Sparrows are more rural, House Sparrows more tied to human settlements.

House Sparrows have a familiar range of fruity, chirrups and cheeps. Tree Sparrow calls are more clipped ‘chip’ sounds.