Sunday, October 14, 2007

Under The Church Steeple

I got a few shots of a visitor to my backyard today as he was snacking on sunflower seeds. He was posing next to this great little feeder my wife Shelley got us which resembles the front of a church. He is a male House Sparrow, also known as the English Sparrow.

They were introduced to North America from Europe. They were released in New York City in 1850. Since that time, they have become widespread. In fact, they are the most abundant songbird in the world.

The male House Sparrow has a distinctive black bib with a black bill. They have a gray cap with a black mask and a chestnut nape.

The females are not as distinctive and have a much different plumage than the male. They lack the black bib, black bill, and chestnut nape.

As the winter draws closer, the males lose the plumage as their black bib, black bill and chestnut nape lightens up. As you can see, this is gradually happening to this male visitor.


Larry said...

Does that mean once he loses his bib, he'll have to be more careful not to spill food on himself?

J. Karl Clampit said...

For sure, as you can see that he is still being a little messy!


Love your photos. Keeping those feeders full is worth the chores for the georgeous friends that visit.

J. Karl Clampit said...

Thanks for the nice comments! It has been a very fulfilling job as the birds just flock to my backyard now.


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