Tuesday, 2 June 2009
In praise of the house sparrow
People rarely give sparrows a second look because they are considered common and dull coloured. Sadly, the former is no longer true, house sparrows are declining and are now a threatened species. I have always enjoyed watching sparrows they are one of the few birds that you can get an insight into their daily lives relatively simply. In my own garden I have watched sparrow courtship, mating, nest building, food collection for young and the fledging of the chicks and feeding in open view by the parents. (Blue tits and other small birds are often far more secretive). Even the brown plumage is far more delicately marked on close inspection and of course provides an excellent camouflage when in vegetation or on roof tops. The other marking you will notice on the male house sparrow is the black bib. This is a sign of dominance. The bigger the bib the more dominant the bird.
A pair of sparrows routinely pass through our back garden at the moment at about 12.10pm every day (I have noticed this while having lunch on our decking in the garden in the sunny weather). They make their way along the gutter searching for any invertebrates.
Sparrows are also quite acrobatic too. They often hang onto walls and search for insects and spiders that are under eaves etc. This one was search for invertebrates on the wall of our neighbours garage.