Sunday, April 2, 2017

American Tree Sparrow

Another bird present at the Dennison Water Treatment Ponds was this American Tree Sparrow. This sparrow is headed north—the species breeds across remote areas of northern Canada. It winters across the northern and central United States, where it inhabits weedy fields and marshlands. Tree Sparrows often visit suburban bird feeders.

American Tree Sparrows are abundant birds. Somewhat surprisingly, considering their wide habitat tolerances and remote breeding areas, tree sparrows have declined by 53% between 1970 and 2014 (Naugler et al. 2017). Ornithologists do not have an explanation for this downward trend. Industrialized agriculture and loss of weedy fields in their winter range is one hypothesis for the decline.

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