Tree sparrows are the lesser seen cousin of the house sparrow. They are not particularly common but are a sight to behold when visiting your garden.
The main way to separate tree sparrows from their more commonly seen cousin is by checking their cheeks. Male and female tree sparrows look much the same and both have a tell-tale black cheek patch that cannot be found on a house sparrow, they also have a chestnut brown head as opposed to the grey crown of a house sparrow and the presence of a white streak on either side of the tree sparrow's face is another trait that the house sparrow does not share.
Not only is a tree sparrow's head quite different from that of a house sparrow but its body has some differences too. One of these differences is between the sparrow's bibs; the tree sparrow has an extremely short and narrow bib when compared to the extensive and wide bib of a house sparrow.
Juvenile tree sparrows look much the same as the adults, only slightly duller and with dark cheeks devoid of the streaks of white.
Tree sparrows feed insects to their young in the breeding season but are more accustomed to eating seeds for the rest of the year. They prefer smaller seeds than most garden birds; red millet is their firm favourite food.