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, July 7, 2015

Why sparrows perch outside of their house

We have a 4 hole birdhouse in which sparrows reside. For the last 3 days I have noticed 2 birds seemingly guarding entry holes. They only leave their perches for a couple of minutes each half hour. Could you explain this behavior? Thank you.

He's probably looking for a mate. House Sparrows may have 2 to 3 broods in season. Males will sit on a perch outside the nesting site singing their nest-site call occasionally trying to attract the female. If she comes near he will quiver his wings and call louder. He will then go in and out of the nest cavity.

Males with larger amounts of black on the throat tend to dominate over males with less black. When males display to a prospective mate, they fluff up their chest, hold their wings partially open, fan the tail, and hop stiffly in front of the female, turning sideways and sometimes bowing up and down. Sometimes, other males who spot such a display in progress will fly in and begin displaying as well. In flocks, males tend to dominate over females in fall and winter, but females assert themselves in spring and summer.

House Sparrows are social, feeding and nesting in crowded flocks and squabbling on the ground. From living in such close company, House Sparrows have developed many ways of indicating dominance and submission. Nervous birds flick their tails. Aggravated birds crouch with the body horizontal, shove their head forward and partially spread and roll forward their wings, and hold the tail erect. This can intensify to a display with wings lifted, crown and throat feathers standing on end, tail fanned, and beak open.

Related Articles:
White-throated Sparrow fun facts
Sparrows Native to mid-Michigan http://bit.ly/oy9XGz
Which one of these birds is not like the others? http://bit.ly/qM1LQt
Chipping Sparrow Juvenile with adult male http://goo.gl/8U5Ud2
How to get rid of sparrows http://goo.gl/9tAwkY

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