ophrys's picture

Sparrows

Observed: 9th December 2010 By: ophrys
Yorkshire Naturalists' Union
ophrys’s reputation in Birdsophrys’s reputation in Birdsophrys’s reputation in Birdsophrys’s reputation in Birdsophrys’s reputation in Birds
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Hybrid sparrow
Description:

Clockwise from top left, a true House Sparrow, a true Tree Sparrow and a hybrid between the two (posted previously).

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

ophrys's picture

Dates

I should point out that only the Tree sparrow was seen today, the others are from last year...the House Sparrow from Kinlochbervie in Sutherland.

Tree Sparrows are super things, very clean-cut and dapper little birds...

Ian
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Syrphus's picture

How does this hybrid appear

How does this hybrid appear in the field - obviously different, or would you pass it over for a Tree S? And are all hybrids this Tree-y form? And what is the call like? How common are the hybrids?

Sorry about all the questions - I had only one in mind when I started!

M.

TRY

recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.

ophrys's picture

Questions...

Good questions, most of which I cannot answer!

If experienced with the appearance of the two, you would definitely notice the different jizz of the hybrid, especially by the very different head shape and bill size. You would need to be looking carefully, though, and I am sure this bird would get ticked as a Tree Sparrow straight away by a lot of people.

As to its call, I am afraid I only saw this bird when I took it out of a net, and I have not seen it since, so nothing to add!

We have large numbers of both species in this area, and this is the only hybrid I have ever seen. They are recorded from many areas, though, I believe. J. Denis Summers-Smith, in his book on Tree Sparrows (apparently) states that they interbreed in areas where they are both rare (not the case here) and so have little option but to join up. That book has pictures of the hybrids, too, but I have not seen it myself.

Ian
_________________

My Flickr photos...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52163027@N02/

Syrphus's picture

Thanks for that background.

Thanks for that background. TS is generally very scarce but locally common around me (Moray Firth area), so I am not likely to meet hybrids myself. Good to know about them, though.

M.

TRY

recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.