Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
- Passer : Latin word for Sparrow
- Montanus: Latin word for “ of Mountain”
Vernacular Names:Hindi: Chhotigouriya, Ass: Konchika, Mani: Sendung, Tibetan: Kang-che
Distribution in India: Resident of Himalayas, North East and Eastern Ghats in India.
Description: Size of 14–15 cm; wt. of 17–30 g. It is a small, neat-looking sparrow. The nominate race has crown to napein chocolate-brown, ear-coverts and cheek are white with prominent black patch, white extending across hindneck giving white-collared appearance. The lores areblack, chin isblack and central throat is black; upperparts are yellowish-brown, mantle is boldly streaked with black; tips of median and greater upperwing-coverts are white. The tailis grey-brown, narrowly edged and buffish. The underpartsare off-white, flanksare washed buffish; iris is dark brown; bill is blackish-horn, becoming black in breeding season. The legs are pale brown or pale pinkish-brown. Both the sexes are alike. The juvenile is similar to adult, but duller.
Habitat: It is found in cultivated areas with hedgerow trees, orchards, gardens and farmyards, less commonly in light woodland. It is found up to 4400 m in Asia.
Food habits: It eats seeds of low herbs and grasses, cultivated cereals. It eats animal food in breeding season. The nestling diet is predominantly of insects and spiders,aphids, caterpillars, grasshoppers and beetles. The bill length increases in summer, when higher proportion of soft insects are taken in the diet . It forages in pairs and in small groups; also in larger flocks in non-breeding season.
Breeding habits: They breed in Apr or May in Asia. The nest is built by both sexes. The nest is made up of dried grass and rootlets, lined with feathers and animal fur, domed, with entrance on side, mostly in hole in tree, earth bank, cliff or artificial structure and in base of large nest of heron or bird of prey. They lay a clutch of 2–7 eggs. The incubation is done by both sexes. The incubation period is 11–14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents. The nestling period is 15–20 days.