These beautiful late fall and winter sparrows have stout bills made for cracking small seeds and picking through the forest floor for insects and caterpillars. Their bills are yellow on the lower part and gray on the upper part.
American tree sparrows are round-headed with typical sparrow-type triangular beaks. They have round but slender bodies and long deeply forked tails. They have rusty caps and un-streaked grayish-white breasts wit a centre dot.
Sparrows are attracted to weed and flower seeds in their natural areas, but you can easily attract them to your feeders with mixed seeds including cracked corn, millet seeds, and wheat seeds. They prefer to feed on the ground but will try any other type of feeder if the right food is provided.
American tree sparrows are from parts farther north than Nova Scotia and come to us as winter approaches. They are often found in alder groves, along road shoulders, at forest edges, and at feeders as the deep winter sets in. They normally live in the north in brushy alder thickets.