Thursday, August 19, 2010

House Sparrow (#2)

A pair of House Sparrows (3-20-10) at my backyard feeder.

I'll begin my series about sparrows with the most common - the House Sparrow. They are undeniably the most prolific of all sparrows and can be found nearly in all parts of the continent: in the mountains, in the plains, in the dessert, North, South, East and West, and especially in large metropolitan areas. They seem to thrive being near humans and like to nest on man man-made structures. About the only areas they are not common in are in the extreme North - Alaska, , and Northern Canada.  House Sparrows are not native to North America but were imported in the early 1850's from England for the purpose of controlling pest caterpillars, unfortunately, at the detriment of other songbirds especially Bluebirds, Swallows and other cavity-nesting birds which were driven away by the House Sparrow's aggressive nest stealing habits.  In less than 50 years they spread throughout the country, even seen on freight train cars heading West. Another negative aspect of the House Sparrow is its monotonous chirping, with no variation of pitch or rhythm. No doubt when my Mother or Grandmother would complain about sparrows being a nuisance, they meant the House Sparrow. Actually the male House Sparrow (Below top, 1-31-10 at my backyard feeder) is quite handsome with contrasting black, gray, white and a various shades of brown. The female (Below, bottom, 11-15-09) has the same browns minus the black and gray colors.

Male House Sparrow

Female House Sparrow

1 comment:

Chesney said...

Sometimes I think I feed the entire house sparrow population at my feeder LOL Nice captures!