American tree sparrow

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American tree sparrow
Spizella-arborea-002 edit2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Emberizidae
Genus: Spizelloides
Slager & Klicka, 2014
Species: S. arborea
Binomial name
Spizelloides arborea
(Wilson, 1810)

Spizella monticola
Spizella arborea

The American tree sparrow (Spizelloides arborea), also known as the winter sparrow,[2] is a medium-sized sparrow.

It previously was classified under the genus Spizella, but multilocus molecular evidence suggested placement in its own genus.

Adults have a rusty cap and grey underparts with a small dark spot on the breast. They have a rusty back with lighter stripes, brown wings with white bars and a slim tail. Their face is grey with a rusty line through the eye. Their flanks are splashed with light brown. They are similar in appearance to the chipping sparrow.

Their breeding habitat is tundra or the northern limits of the boreal forest in Alaska and northern Canada. They nest on the ground.

Feeding in winter

These birds migrate to the United States or southern Canada to spend the winter. Usually, chipping sparrows are moving south around the same time as these birds arrive.

These birds forage on the ground or in low bushes, often in flocks when not nesting. They mainly eat seeds and insects, some berries. They are commonly seen near feeders with dark-eyed juncos.

This bird's song is a sweet high warble descending in pitch and becoming buzzy near the finish.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Spizella arborea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Sandrock, James; Prior, Jean C. (2014). The Scientific Nomenclature of Birds in the Upper Midwest. Iowa City, IA, US: University of Iowa Press. p. 137. ISBN 978-1-60938-225-4. 
  • Slager, D.L.; Klicka, J. 2014: A new genus for the American tree sparrow (Aves: Passeriformes: Passerellidae). Zootaxa, 3821(3): 398-400. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3821.3.9

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