Eurasian Tree Sparrow – Passer montanus

The Tree Sparrow’s scientific binomial, what people often refer to as a species’ “Latin” name, is Passer montanus, which in literal translation would be something like percher of the mountains (although more obviously passer simply means sparrow. Anyway, they stand apart from the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) having markedly different head plumage, sporting a chestnut-coloured crown as they do, rather than the grey of the House Sparrow. The Tree Sparrow also has white cheeks and collar with a contrasting black cheek spot.

The other thing that sets them apart, unfortunately, is that they’re now quite rare and are listed as being “red” wrt UK conservation status. You’re unlikely to have seen Tree Sparrows in your garden, any sparrows are more likely to be House Sparrow or Hedge Sparrow (Dunnock, Prunella modularis). The latter isn’t a sparrow at all and might better be referred to as the Hedge Warbler, given its melodious song.

In the picture two Tree Sparrows on the left, obvs, and on the right Great Tit (Parus major)

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Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.