American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow
(Spizelloides arborea)

Order:  Passeriformes
Family:  Passerellidae

Photo © Steve Byland

American Tree Sparrow Information

Length:  5.5 - 6.5"

Summer habitat (Alaska & Northern Canada): Willow and birch thickets, scrubby conifers. Often found near the treeline.

Winter habitat: Weedy fields, hedgerows, farmland, brushy woodland edges, marshes, thickets, residential areas.

Diet:  In winter, grass seeds and weed seeds such as goldenrod, aster, and crabgrass. In summer, primarily insects.

  Song and calls of the American Tree Sparrow

Preferred Bird Feeder Food

The American Tree Sparrow prefers white millet and sunflower seeds (whole and hulled). They also eat cracked corn, peanut hearts, and nyjer seed.

This bird generally feeds on the ground, but will also come to platform feeders and large hoppers.

Additional Information

American Tree Sparrow
Photos, range, habitat, description, reproduction, lifespan, behavior, communication, food habits, predation, and conservation status. (From Animal Diversity Web)

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow

© Robert Royse

American Tree Sparrow
Identification Tips

  • Dark, conical bill with yellow lower mandible
  • Rusty crown and eyeline
  • Gray supercilium and face
  • Gray breast with black spot
  • Rust patch at side of breast
  • White belly and undertail coverts
  • Buffy flanks
  • Tan back with dark streaks
  • Brown wings with wing bars
  • Slim, forked tail
  • Sexes similar
  • Juvenile plumage (Summer) similar to immature but duller with streaked breast

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

American Tree Sparrow
Breeding Range

This bird breeds in northern Canada and Alaska.

American Tree Sparrow
Range Maps from Cornell

American Tree Sparrow breeding, migration, and nonbreeding range.

Includes separate map of sightings.

American Tree Sparrow
Christmas Bird Count Map

Historical CBC Map from USGS