House Sparrow & Eurasian Tree Sparrow
(Passer domesticus, Passer montanus)
Probably, not everyone noticed that near us live not one, but two species of sparrows — the house sparrow and the tree sparrow. They are similar both in behavior, coloration, voice, and size.
Nevertheless, there are distinctions between them. The male of the house sparrow has a grey top of the head; the plumage of the female is rather single-colored.
But “caps” of both sexes of the tree sparrow are brown; on their light cheeks there are dark stains well visible from a distance.
Not everybody also knows, that the house sparrow is originally a mountain bird. And the city for it is something like a huge heap of rocks. Sparrows that live on steep slopes of mountains settle in crevices. And similar to them, house sparrows living in cities build nests in different sorts of cracks in buildings and under roofs, but also in hollows of trees.
As for the tree sparrow, it nests only in hollows.
Tree sparrows are more inclined to the countryside, and in cities most of them lives in parks.
The house sparrow, on the contrary, is a city bird rather than rural. However, these habits do not prevent both species from settling quite often together. In these conditions, both the tree sparrow and the house sparrow eat in winter everything that can be found near man.
Sparrows are sociable birds. It is especially evident since spring — when all of them, as if on command, fly down to one bush and begin chirping amicably. “Collective singing” is an obligatory ritual of pre-nesting behavior of male sparrows. Its meaning consists in attracting to their site as many females as possible.
After singing, displaying begins: the males lower wings, extend tails upwards, loudly chirp and jump “like cockerels” around the females.
Both spouses take part in care of the young.
We are used to these birds: they are too common and ordinary; this is why they almost never attract our attention. But let us look at them closely! And then, for sure, we will find in them special charm and nice beauty! Sparrows, which you see even at bus stops, sometimes look to your eyes with such childlike simplicity, that involuntarily you reach in a pocket to give something tasty to these nice birds.
It is a birdie like the sparrow in size. The male has a yellow with brownish strips head, breast, and belly; the back is brown. Females are yellow-brown. The beak is of a conical form.
The song of the yellowhammer resembles sonorous "zing- zing- zing-ziii…-tziik".
They build nests in grass or low in branches of thick bushes.