Spring Cleaning

The sparrows have begun to clean out their bird house for the spring. The same pair of sparrows probably nest in it each year, & every year before they nest the pull out all of last years nesting materials for a fresh start. String, plants, & feathers all hang out of it, blowing in the wind. When they finish building their new nest, it will be tidy & clean, but by the end of the summer, & after several broods of chicks (sparrow chicks leave the nest after about 2 weeks) most of it will have fallen out & it will look nearly as messy as it does now.

Blue Jays!

Recently, blue jays have started appearing all around my neighborhood. They don’t eat much bird seed, as far as I can tell, but they like nuts, berries, acorns, & insects. They’re pretty aggressive; they are always scaring the little birds (sparrows, mostly) out of their bush, or tree branch, or feeding spot.

Nest Fest – Part 2

A pair of european starlings is nesting across the street from me in a neighbor’s cable & telephone box. It’s a metal box, about the size of a shoebox, with wires sticking out in every direction. There’s a small hole in the bottom of the box, & the starlings fly in & out all the time, squishing past the wires.

Yesterday I got a look into the sparrow’s nest. It’s very interesting. The birdhouse is filled to the brim with twigs & such, & there’s a tunnel going into it that slants upward. After a few inches of this it drops down into the nest hole, where the eggs are.

Spring News

'the sparrows nest'

It’s been really hot around here – the sun’s out all the time now, it’s about 78° F at the hottest. The bugs are loving it, especially the bees. (I’ve had more than one of them in my house in the past few days.) 

A pair of sparrows that has been building a nest in a birdhouse in my yard finally finished after over a month of flitting around collecting twigs, string, reeds, & all sorts of ‘comfortable’ things to nest on. It’s awfully messy, but the sparrows are very proud of it. 

Bird Behavior

'either birds or squirrels knocked over the birdbath'

Either the birds or the squirrels recently took my birdbath & knocked out the stone I had put in their so that it didn’t blow away. (It’s pretty light.) So now it is stuck under a bush in my yard. For some readon today the feeder was chock full of sparrows, which is pretty uncommon since sparrows usually prefer to feed on the ground. I have a new food in my feeder, which could be changing things. Instead of only Black Oil Sunflower Seed, I have a seed mix, which they seem to like just as well.

Sparrow chicks

"Sparrow eggs."

House sparrow eggs are hatching. House sparrows lay eggs April – June, & can have many broods of eggs in a season, so some of the eggs aren’t hatched yet. In fact, since it only takes 13 -16 days for a House sparrow egg to hatch, most of the eggs haven’t even been laid yet. It only takes a few weeks for the house sparrow chicks to mature. House sparrows live only about 1 – 2 years, & after a few months the young are old enough to nest themselves. A house sparrow can lay 25 eggs in a single season. House sparrows are monogamous, (they mate for life) & stay in their pairs throughout & in-between breeding seasons.