About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Quick fun fact

Has your family lived in America longer than the House Sparrows?

House Sparrows have learned to thrive in close association with mankind, unlike the many other species that have declined or disappeared as a result of our activities. In fact, they actually owe much of their success directly to us.

Between 1874 and 1876 a few House Sparrows were brought over from England and were released in Jackson and Owosso, Michigan to control insect infestations on crops. They quickly multiplied into thousands as they regularly raised three to five broods per year, each brood averaging around five babies.

Then it was discovered that 60% of the House Sparrows' diet consisted of the farmers’ seed crop instead of the bugs. However the information came too late to stop the population growth.

Today due to several releases of a few House Sparrows across the US they are the most abundant songbirds in North America and the most widely distributed birds on the planet. And the House Sparrows in your yard may be 100th generation Americans.

So, love them...or hate them...they are here to stay.

Our challenge is to learn to live with them as well as they have learned to live with us by mitigating their impact on our native species, while fully understanding the niche they now occupy in our avian landscape.

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