As a small bird, the common and often seen Eurasian Tree Sparrow provides a convenient benchmark for comparing the size, shape and voice of other small birds. The black spots on the cheeks of young sparrows provide a helpful reference to distinguish them from similar birds. The cry that sparrow chicks make is “shiri-shiri.“
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Sparrows live only around human habitation. So if you lose your way in mountains or in forests, don't give up. If you find a sparrow, it means someone lives nearby.
It is commonly believed that sparrows live only in one place, because they can be seen year-round. But this isn't true; recent findings tell us that young sparrows move to other places in the fall, which is considered a strategy to avoid inbreeding.
Because chicks are almost the same size as adults by the time they leave the nest, it is quite difficult to distinguish adult sparrows from baby sparrows by their body size. When sparrows are young, the black spots on their cheeks are lighter in color. These spots, however, are not very helpful in telling younger birds apart from older birds because they become darker in the fall.
Generally, small birds have thin bills to grab insects easily. However, sparrows have thick bills to crush and eat seeds, which are their staple food.
Sparrows mate in the spring and rear their chicks by summer as other small birds do. This is ideal because they can easily catch nutrient-rich insects during this season. Parents catch insects and feed them to their chicks more than 4,000 times during the two-week period that is needed until the baby birds are ready to leave the nest.
The recent decline of sparrows has caused some concern. One reason may be the decline of insects which are essential for raising chicks.
Chicks (left) grow and become almost the same size as their parents (right) by the time they leave the nest. The coloring of chicks is lighter than adults for a while, but eventually changes, becoming the same color as adult birds, making it quite difficult to distinguish between young and adult sparrows in the fall. Chicks that survive to the following spring will then start to breed.
After mating in the spring, sparrows immediately begin making their nest. Chicks become independent about 10 days after fledging. Some pairs may breed a few times during a single breeding season.
Canon sites where this bird is seen
Building a company that coexists with nature
Breeding Bird Survey and Océ Weerd