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.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Photo Share: That Cheeky Sparrow

1. Man has always had a love-hate relationship with the cheeky sparrow. They were introduced intentionally around the world, including Michigan in the 1800's.

2. House sparrows have lived alongside humans since the Stone Age. The "house" in their name refers to our human houses. For much of the year it is rare to find them far from human habitations.

3. The House Sparrow males have a grey crown, black bib, reddish-brown back streaked with black, and grey breast and belly, while females have brown, streaky backs and are buff below.

4. The house sparrow is monogamous, and typically mates for life. They don’t usually migrate, but they do move around locally in flocks in the fall, usually within a mile or so of where they hatched.

5. When a flock shows up at a feeder, watch to see its pecking order or dominance hierarchy in action as more dominant house sparrows chase or take the places of others. You might notice that the males (with black bibs) are dominant to females and juveniles, and that males with larger black bibs are more dominant than males with smaller black bibs. In the breeding season, females may become more dominant, so relationships are less clear-cut.

If anyone else would like to share a photograph of nature send it to bloubird@gmail.com with a description and permission to post it on the Friday Photo.

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