Thursday, 26 April 2007


One of the things I brought back from Michigan was a bird-feeder. This one here on the right is a picture of it. I ended up picking one that was a bit pricier than I would normally go for, but it has a lifetime guarantee, and is made of metal and very durable plastic. Some of the cheap ones I looked at had the structural integrity of a Dixie cup. Anyway, it is now hanging outside full of sunflower seed. And it is no ordinary sunflower seed; it is seed I grew myself last year! Our rabbit Connie really enjoyed munching down on the empty flower head, too. I've yet to see many birds at the feeder yet, but it takes a few weeks for birds to be comfortable with a new feeder, and it has only been a few days.

I've also found three of these, near the back end of the house, broken on the concrete, slightly wet:

The broken egg shells looked like they had hatched successfully, as there was only the slightest residue around the egg shells, and no body. Based on where the shells fell, the nest must have been either on top of the boiler vent or on the roof. I had a look on the web, and found only one species that has that size and colour of egg that will nest on a house. It's this little fellow:

It's a house sparrow. When I saw the picture, I realized I had seen them in the garden many times before. It seems like a house sparrow would not be something to get all that excited about, but house sparrows are actually becoming pretty rare. Their numbers have plummeted in recent years, cut in half from what they were 25 years ago. No one is quite sure why they are going down, but it's nice to know the numbers have gone up, however slight, in my back yard.

1 comment:

dufus said...

This little dude is ubiquitou in the States and gets called English House Sparrow, which is funny since it comes from all Eurasia and north Africa, and isn't a true sparrow but a finch. Cool that the babies are growing above you, leaving their vacated eggs, fine compost, at your feet.