passer (sparrow) montanus (mountain)
Sunday, January 3, 1982 — 9:45 am
Morgan County, Illinois — Route 104 between Waverly and Franklin
After my wife and I saw the Lapland Longspurs, we continued on toward Franklin looking for Eurasian Tree Sparrows. We drove on through the flat, muddy farmland looking at every small bird we saw. After five miles or so, before we got to Franklin, we found what we were looking for.
Approximately 30 Eurasian Tree Sparrows were in a mixed flock with House Sparrows and European Starlings (a trifecta of introduced birds). They were foraging on the edge of the road, on roadside snowdrifts, and in the nearby field. We stayed in the car and rolled to within 15 feet. They were picking and scratching in the snow. Occasionally an individual or small group would move around within the area. We were anxious to get home, so we didn’t stay long.