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Eurasian Tree Sparrow

From Opus

Revision as of 14:01, 22 June 2008 by Nomdeploom (Talk | contribs)
Passer montanus
Photo by rayh
Photo by rayh

Contents

Identification

A well-known bird. Seperated from House Sparrow by chestnut crown and nape. Highly gregarious, this bird prefers the vicinity of humans.

Distribution

Widespread and still fairly common but decreasing in parts of western Europe including Britain. Breeds in coastal Ireland and Britain (but rather uncommon in the north), and from western France, north and eastern Iberia east across Europe to the Urals and Caspian reaching coastal and southern Scandinavia, the Baltic States and the White Sea. In the south occurs on the Mediterranean coasts of Spain and France, Italy and Sicily, the Balkans, patchily in west, central and northern Turkey and the Caucasus. Formerly bred in the Faroes and has bred Morocco, recently in Malta and Gozo, introduced to Sardinia. Rare breeder in the Canary Islands, found only on Gran Canaria. There is also a small population in St. Louis, Missouri, in the USA.

Resident or partial migrant over most of range and winter visitor to the larger Mediterranean islands.

Vagrants recorded in Gibraltar and North-West Africa, Egypt and Israel.

Introduced

Introduced to Australia.Now found in a few places in the SE.Locally abundant.

Taxonomy

Subspecies: Nominate occurs over much of Western Palearctic range with transcaucasicus in the southern Caucasus, generally duller and greyer above, whiter below.

Habitat

Open woodland and along woodland edges, parkland and farmland with copses and hedgerows. Also in urban areas where House Sparrow is absent.

Behaviour

Secondary cavity nester. Not aggressive or pugnacious like the House Sparrow, but may attempt to claim a box used by another bird

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