Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Before I took nature very seriously I always assumed that any birds around an urban area were these little brown birds that I always seemed to see. Whenever I actually noticed a bird it was one of these little brown ones, so I never looked any further. Now I know that there are so many different colors of birds even in a city. All you have to do is pay attention.

But even after learning about all these knew fascinating colorful birds I forgot something. It was those little brown birds that I knew so well. I completely ignored them, thinking they were dull and boring. But a short time ago I began to notice them again. I realized that these little birds were just as much ofa part of nature as any other animal.

I just now learned that these little brown birds are most likely house sparrows. I can't be sure of that yet, because they are many different kinds of sparrows. One kind that looks similar are field sparrows. Sparrows also come in very many colors, but these two are both primarily brown.

One of the differences is that the house sparrows can be found here in Michigan all year round, while field sparrows are known to migrate south when it gets cold. Since it's February I'm guessing the birds in my pictures are indeed house sparrows. The tip off that they are sparrows at all are their short little beaks.

Now I know by now that you're thinking that these aren't really very clear pictures of these birds. The fact is that they were moving around too fast for me to get better ones this time. I'll have some good ones for you soon enough. This last one was sitting right on the roof of my house. That black chin is evidence of a male house sparrow. It was one of a pair that were playing on my porch. I had to take the picture while looking into the sun.

I'm actually finding quite a few birds flying around my house right now. I don't usually take pictures here, because I do most of my nature watching on the hiking trails, but I couldn't resist so many frequent flocks of birds that are coming around. Plus I've been learning to sometimes look a little closer to home from some of you valuable readers.

And finally, yesterday I posted some pictures of a woodpecker. Some of you were wondering what kind it was. The fact that I neglected to fully identify it was a huge mistake on my part. The bird is a downy woodpecker. There is a huge population of them around here. I fully meant to identify the bird yesterday, but my writing got away from me. By the time I was finished with the story I thought I had mentioned the name of the bird.

That's it for today. I've had little time in the past few days, but I hope to have more later today. I'll try to make time to be on here a little more later in the afternoon so I can read your blogs. It always brightens my mood when I'm able to read yours.


  1. The pictures turned out great, ratty. They do move around fast..

  2. I'm always amazed at what you notice, even in your own yard. The house sparrow is a bird that was introduced into North America in the 1800's. It is primarily an urban bird, in fact many have noticed that it is prevalent and often nests around malls. Food is readily available from human activities and the bird takes advantage of this. This little bird can be fairly aggressive and drive other song birds away from feeders, but usually the other birds adapt and utilize feeders when the house sparrow is off doing other things.


  3. I used to say the house sparrows are nearby my house everyday greeting me good morning.

    They are too common, like you say, that I seldom take their pictures, and I did not post them although I have taken a few.

    I may be wrong.

  4. Dig the birds Ratty, you reminded me that the Swallows are coming back to my home town next month (San Juan Capistrano). Although there are not near as many as there use to be, I miss all there little mud nests under the eves of the house. I'll send you a picture if we get any nesting on our house this year. God Bless and keep up the adventure!


  5. They are so quick, I don't know how you get their photos. They are so cute :)

  6. You've accumulated a nice collection of bird photos. They always move to fast for me.

  7. If they are house sparrows or house wrens, they sing a beautiful song....so if you hear them, you will know for sure...

  8. Ratty, I heard the birds singing this morning. Singing!! I think spring must be coming.

  9. You take so many nice photos of animals in nature. Good you can take the shot at the right moment - not blurred. I'm still practicing at doing that.

    Anyway, I got you an award because I think your blog is fantastic. Do see my latest blog post. Have a nice day!

  10. I think those little guys are common just about everywhere in North America. And yeah, they are quick. I had no idea that you could identify their sex by their chins - I'll keep an eye out from now on when I do my window watching!

  11. Hi Ratty!
    I love sparrows. I see them all the time. They nest in the ivy covered walls in front of our loft. They always wake me up, singing sweetly. Glad to be back in blog-land! I've missed your nature posts!


  12. A house sparrow on your house. Hey!