American Tree Sparrow

photo by Phil Swanson

Spizella arborea
L 6 1/4″ (16 cm).

Song or calls:
Twittering “teedle-eet.” Song begins with clear “seet” notes, then variable rapid warble.

Description: Sexes similar.
Rufous-brown back and wings, back is streaked with black; gray head with solid chestnut cap; thin chestnut eyeline and mustache; grayish-white below with distinctive dark central breast spot; raufous patches at sides of breast; tail is notched; dark legs; and two bold white wing bars. Two-toned bill is dark above and yellow below.

american tree sparrow
Habitat: Usually found in flocks among thickets, brushy areas, shrubby or weedy grasslands, and groves of trees.

Where in Nebraska: Common migrant and winter visitor across the state.

Fun Facts: In winter, American Tree Sparrows beat tall weeds with their wings and collect the fallen seeds from on top of the snow.

American Tree Sparrow - photo by Phil Swanson American Tree Sparrow - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)