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Bird of the Week: The "Tom Waits" Lonely House Sparrow

Hi all,

In general, now seems to be a good time to meet the ubiquitous House Sparrow, and particularly the lonely little guy below.

house%20sparrow_02_345.jpg


First, the standard stuff... This is an adult male House Sparrow (Passer domesticus). Sometime around 1850, these fellows were introduced to the States via New York City from Europe, and spread like wildfire throughout the continental U.S. and beyond... They are noisy, combative, and don't mind taking other birds nests. Only the male wears a black throat, and only a male in the "breeding mode" owns a black throat combined with a black bib on his chest.

And that leads us to that special little pup above... He sits for hours every day on top of his birdhouse trying to entice a female. As the photo shows, he puffs himself up, but to no avail... He sings constantly, and engages in a weird little "hopping dance", but to no avail. This has been going on for weeks now, and he must be getting tired. Any night now, the wife and I are expecting to hear Tom Waits music straining out of his abode, and the next morning there will no doubt be a tiny pile of tiny beer cans at the base of his digs... We're talking one sad bird here!

Anyway... That's the way it looks right now... I'll keep you posted if conditions change...

See you at closing time by the feeders,

CapeCodAlan

P.S. Remember, there's a free contest afoot!

Thanks to the following:

  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • Wikipedia
  • Audubon Society
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • MSN Encarta
  • The National Audubon Society’s “The Sibley Guide to Birds”
  • ”Birds Of North America” published by Golden
  • ”Birds of New England” from Smithsonian Handbooks
  • Chapman's "Handbook of Birds of Eastern North America"
  • Peterson's "A Field Guide to the Birds"
  • "Birdwatching" from publisher "Discovery Travel Adventures"
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