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American Tree Sparrow

Scientific name: Spizella arborea

A medium-sized sparrow, the American Tree Sparrow summers in the near-perpetual sunshine of northern Canada and Alaska, moving into much of the northern United States during the winter.

Breeding and wintering ranges of the American Tree Sparrow do not overlap, so all individuals are migratory. Migration takes place mostly at night, and often in flocks. Male American Tree Sparrows often winter farther north than females.

American Tree Sparrows winter throughout much of the northern and central U.S., where winters are often cold and snowy. They forage by scratching around on the ground for seeds, but when there is snow covering the ground they are also known to beat their wings against weeds and then eat the seeds that have fallen onto the snow.

Photograph © Mr. Lawton.