Tree Sparrows in the Scottish Borders
Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
More colourful and smaller than its duskier relative. It has a distinctive brown cap and a black cheek spot. The black bib is smaller and confined to the central chest and both sexes are alike. Nesting in tree holes or nest boxes, but will nest in hedges when other sites are unavailable, then a domed nest is built and loose colonies formed. Two possibly three broods can be raised annually.
Weed seed eaters supplemented with some grain, insects and larvae. The courtship consists of bowing and wings spreading combined with the brown caps crown feathers being raised.
Best spotted in parts of the region with some cereal growing and stubbles, may be in mixed winter finch flocks.
Tree Sparrow in flight image courtesy of Stuart Scott Images