Monday, October 27, 2008

House Sparrow in Winter Coat

This House Sparrow comes back from time to time and sits on the bird house outside my window. It is hung from a limb of the apple tree which still has all its leaves. I think this is daddy but maybe it's one of his chicks all grown up wondering where everyone went. It was cold when I took this, in the 40sF. He was all puffed up and sat there for about an hour. I took the picture though the window glass so it's a bit fuzzy. Click on the photo and it will enlarge so you can see the bird better. House Sparrows will raise a number of clutches in one summer. This house was full much of the summer. I know they are a non native species and some of you would have me chase them away but they are here to stay so we might as well except them. The House Sparrow is not a true sparrow as are the dozens of less-familiar North American sparrows, but a weaver finch, one of a family of old world birds known for weaving their nests. House Sparrows are ubiquitous in North America. They are also common in many parts of South and Central America as well as Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. House Sparrows have such a long and interwoven history of consorting with mankind that it is thought that the species actually abandoned its previously-migratory behavior with the advent of agricultural civilizations in the Middle East, choosing instead to remain with a new and steady source of food.

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