Fun American Tree Sparrow Facts For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
May 18, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary
American tree sparrow facts about a breed of North American birds.

Have you ever come across a chipping sparrow of order Passeriformes? If you liked it, then you would surely love the American tree sparrow (Spizelloides arborea), which is fairly common in parts of Alaska and Southern Canada.

The American tree sparrow's behavior is unique in the sense that they start their song at first light hopping about the ground, and American tree sparrow sounds are known to be very sweet and declining in pitch.

These North American birds have dark spots on their breast and belong to the family Passerellidae. Who wouldn’t want to get to know more about Spizella arborea?

Arguably, very few things can be deemed better than listening to the sweet songs and watching the American tree sparrow (Spizella arborea) fly in small flocks from tree to tree in search of food. Here are some interesting facts about the tree sparrow that would make you more curious!

After reading these interesting facts about the American tree sparrow, do check our other articles on the secretary bird and the umbrellabird as well.

American Tree Sparrow Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an American tree sparrow?

The American tree sparrow (family Passerellidae) is a bird that is predominantly found in parts of Alaska and Southern Canada.

What class of animal does an American tree sparrow belong to?

The American tree sparrow belongs to the Aves class of animals and is a vertebrate animal which means that this bird has a spinal cord.

How many American tree sparrows are there in the world?

American tree sparrows are fairly abundant and there are roughly more than 22,000,000 individuals in the world, which is a large number and shows that American tree sparrows are very common.

Where does an American tree sparrow live?

These birds of weedy fields and scrubs live in nests that are made on the ground and are found in snow-covered fields. The American tree sparrow's migration takes place before the winter when they migrate from their breeding grounds in the north to the wintering grounds in central and northern North America.

The migration of American tree sparrows starts late in fall or early on in spring.

What is an American tree sparrow's habitat?

The American tree sparrow's habitat is generally in the open tundra regions of North America, and this species is known to live in the cold climates of southern Canada and the northern United States.

In their natural habitat of the open tundra, these birds prefer to construct their nest on the ground and also prefer to forage on the ground, instead of living in the trees.

Who do American tree sparrows live with?

This bird species lives in small flocks and adults are found to live with their young, looking after and feeding them. These birds are usually found foraging on the ground, instead of living in the trees.

How long does an American tree sparrow live?

The average lifespan of an American tree sparrow is around 2.5-3.5 years, although, under human surveillance in captivity, this bird species is known to have lived for more than 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

Both male and female American tree sparrows arrive at the breeding sites and sing to attract each other. Once they have formed a pair, they start breeding, and the female lays between four and seven eggs in the nest, one egg on each day.

The female sparrow builds her own nest alone, and the eggs hatch after roughly 14 days. The male and female American tree sparrows feed the small chicks for two or three weeks after hatching.

What is their conservation status?

American tree sparrows are abundant in number and are hence classified as of Least Concern. Many times, these tree sparrows can be seen traveling from one place to another easily due to their high population.

American Tree Sparrow Fun Facts

What do American tree sparrows look like?

An American tree sparrow on a branch.

American tree sparrows look similar to chipping sparrows. This bird species has grey underparts and a rusty brownish back coat of feathers.

Their tails are slim, and they have a dark spot on their breast region. These birds have a rufous crown and a rufous patch on their breast. Their faces are also rusty brown, and their wings are brown with a few white stripes.

Their beaks are sharp and pointed and are used to pick up insects and seeds on the grounds and trees. The male and female American tree sparrows look similar, with a gray head, streaked brown back, and smooth gray breast.

How cute are they?

American tree sparrows are considered to be very cute and friendly with an adorable rufous crown. When given seeds, these birds bring their small flocks and eat the seeds collectively, chirping and singing all the time. The white stripes on their brown wings look very beautiful and add to their cuteness.

How do they communicate?

The method of communication for this species is through different American tree sparrow sounds. They start the American tree sparrow song on a declining pitch from the first light of day.

Both males and females are known to sing songs to communicate and attract sparrows of the opposite sex. While the birds are foraging, the American tree sparrow's call sounds just like a musical!

How big is an American tree sparrow?

An American tree sparrow is around 6-7.5 in (15.2-19 cm) long, which is roughly six times smaller than a golden eagle. This is a common size and is not much different from the house sparrows.

How fast can an American tree sparrow fly?

An American tree sparrow can fly at a speed of more than 32 mph (51.9 kph), which helps it to cover long distances while traveling from the breeding site and back to the nest. This is considered a good speed that helps them during migration and is faster than a common house sparrow.

Sometimes, the American tree sparrow even reaches higher speeds, and further studies are going on regarding this.

How much does an American tree sparrow weigh?

An American tree sparrow weighs around 0.5-1 oz (13-28 g), which is close to the normal weight of any sparrow.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Both male and female American tree sparrows are referred to by the same scientific name Spizelloides Arborea. This bird species do not have specific names for male and female sparrows.

What would you call a baby American tree sparrow?

A baby American tree sparrow is referred to as a chick or a young American tree sparrow.

What do they eat?

American tree sparrows mainly eat insects and seeds (they are omnivores). The main predators of an American tree sparrow are hawks and owls. The sharp-shinned hawk is a well-known predator of these sparrows.

Are they aggressive?

American tree sparrows are known to be more aggressive than the common house sparrows, but no such incidents of aggression against humans have come up. These birds are fairly harmless to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, American tree sparrows would make a good pet, as their requirements are pretty low. These birds need easily available seeds, and the chipping sparrows are known to recognize and return to their masters. These birds are capable of developing a relationship with their owners.

Did you know...

Although their name is the American tree sparrow, they usually live much north of the tree line and are hence not very deeply associated with trees. The color of their eggs ranges from brown to bluish to greenish. The male sparrow does not incubate the eggs and only visits the nest occasionally during the incubation period.

During winters, these birds migrate to central North America from the northern breeding sites, to save themselves from the bitter cold in the northern region.

When you compare the American tree sparrows vs. chipping sparrows, you can notice several differences in their appearance even though these birds are similar species. Compared to an American tree sparrow, a chipping sparrow has a duller cap with a black line through its eyes. The breast color is similar in both species.

How do American tree sparrows watch for predators?

It has been largely accepted that American tree sparrows watch for predators out of their left eye. This has been proved in a study.

What do American tree sparrows do when it snows?

When snow falls and the ground is covered with snow, American tree sparrows beat tall weeds with their wings and then eat the seeds that have fallen on the snow. This strategy works well as they have a good wingspan.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the Hawaiian crow and the Humboldt penguin.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our American tree sparrow coloring pages.

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

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Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary

Bachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

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Smriti ChaudharyBachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

Smriti, a student data scientist, and coder, is pursuing her Bachelor of Technology at K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering. She has achieved top rankings in the International English Olympiad, National Spelling Bee, and PSAT/SAT English Section. She is experienced in content creation and editing for various academic institutions.

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