|American tree sparrow- note white wing bar.|
|American tree sparrow- note dark central breast spot.|
|American tree sparrow- note bi-colored bill.|
On its breeding grounds the American tree sparrow eats mostly insects but here on its wintering grounds in places like Pennsylvania it ekes out a living on the seeds of grasses, weeds, and other plants.
The American tree sparrow is a bird of low, wet, and shrubby habitats that border open areas such as fields or streams.
The flock seems to be always on the move. Always foraging. It's interesting and beautiful how this single species flock of 30+ birds moves as one organism through the underbrush adjacent to the trail. I can't always see them. I catch a glimpse of a bird here and there through the twigs and branches. But I can tell where they are and how fast they are moving by following the location of those jingled notes.
It is small. It is unassuming. It is relatively inconspicuous.
It is a living treasure and a visitor from the frigid north.
If you want to experience the American tree sparrow for yourself, head to the northern terminus of the Pine Creek Rail Trail and walk it about a mile out. Chances are you'll find them there.