Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

House Sparrow

Along with White-winged Doves and Blue Jays, House Sparrows are the most common birds in our back yard.

I’ve been trying to get a good shot of one for a few weeks and so far this is the best one. The trick was moving the cake feeder that they like closer to the porch.

Some interesting facts about the House Sparrow via Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds site:

  • The House Sparrow was introduced into Brooklyn, New York, in 1851. By 1900 it had spread to the Rocky Mountains. Its spread throughout the West was aided by additional introductions in San Francisco, California, and Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • The House Sparrow has been present in North America long enough for evolution to have influenced their morphology. Populations in the north are larger than those in the south, as is generally true for native species (a relationship known as Bergman’s Rule).
  • Although not a water bird, the House Sparrow can swim if it needs to, such as to escape a predator. Sparrows caught in a trap over a water dish tried to escape by diving into the water and swimming underwater from one part of the trap to another.
  • The House Sparrow is a frequent dust bather. It throws soil and dust over its body feathers, just as if it were bathing with water.

They have a rep for being a nuisance bird, taking over the nests of other birds, especially the Eastern Bluebird, which may be why nobody has moved into my bluebird box, although the sparrows don’t seem interested in it either.

3 Comments

  1. I have house sparrows building their nest in my bluebird box right this minute. I also have a nest around back in one of my old tool boxes with eggs in it I think it’s sparrow’s as well. I live in North Carolina about a mile from Charlotte.

  2. Hi there!
    My name is Robin Miketta, and I am a Girl Scout, working on my Gold Award. For this award I am building two display cases for Descanso Gardens that consist of bird information and pictures. I found your picture on the Internet through Google images and I was wondering if I could have your permission to display this picture.
    Thank you for your time,
    Robin
    These are the photos that I would like to use,
    http://coyotemercury.com/wp-content/photos/house_sparrow.jpg

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