House Sparrows

Posted on July 3, 2011

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When I moved into my house last year, I discovered I had a nest of baby birds in the eaves over my covered patio. At the time, I didn’t know the species. I later determined that these were house sparrows. I happened to be home the day they learned to fly. It was so much fun watching them sail off the beam, down to the deck rail and take off again.

Papa Sparrow apparently lives here year round because I saw him on my patio all winter, along with other sparrows of course. He’s quite distinctive, so I know it’s the same bird. This year, Papa Sparrow and his mate have been quite busy. We’re into our third clutch.

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Here’s mom bringing home breakfast yesterday:

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Papa is a busy parent, too. Once the nestlings are born, both parents work non-stop to catch mosquitoes and other bugs.

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The male in October 2010:

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The main difference with the male between 2010 and this year is the solid black throat and mask. Last Fall his breast was somewhat more speckled. According to The Sibley Guide to Birds, the less pronounced black breast is consistent with an adult male during nonbreeding months, while the solid black breast evident in this year’s photos corresponds to an adult male during breeding season. The nonbreeding male sparrow has pale feather tips that cover the black breast.

I have a great view from my dining table so I’m constantly birdwatching when I eat. Bird TV beats commercial TV hands-down!

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Posted in: Animals, Birds, Nature