I get people contacting me from all over the world. Randy from Iowa, USA has been in touch. Strangely it is very similar to my previous article – Randy says – This is something that I’ve been fascinated by lately. I work in agriculture in northwest Iowa, and there are piles of grain everywhere, which attract a lot of sparrows, and I see these fights a lot. Every few weeks during the spring and summer, it seems. I haven’t actually seen a fatality happen, as the fights move on quickly as the victim bird tries to flee, but because of the viciousness, there is no question in my mind that the only outcomes to these fights would be that the bird dies or manages to escape. There is a lot of food for them where I work (thus why there are so many of them), so I know it’s not a food shortage situation. I’ll hear a bird commotion, a lot of excited sounding chirping, and then I’ll see a group of sparrows ganging up on one particular sparrow, chasing it and viciously attacking it. And I’ve always wondered what it is that sets these fights off
This is from an article in Bird Table News that was published in 2010
http://birdtablenews.com/2010/05/yes-sparrows-do-kill-other-sparrows/ Has anyone else seen this happening?
Ruth contacted me with this –
We were horrified to see six sparrows pecking at a dead sparrow this morning. Didn’t know if they had killed it or not but never seen this before and we have always fed and have dozens of the birds in the garden.
This in in reply to this article
I usually spend some time every day bird watching anonymously from my kitchen window as the different varieties of birds gather to eat food I’ve put out for them all. A happy blackie has found a piece of apple I’ve put at the base of a small bush. Then I get a surprise as a sparrow flies out from the depths of the small bush . A large pigeon arrives,then tries to get inside the mesh of the ground feeder, gives up and flies away. A starling sits nearby then accurately zooms in between the bars of the cage feeder, gets a morsel or two of food in its beak and zooms out again. Three Great Tits arrive. They are so colourful. Some birds hop from fence to grass, from bush to fence, from fence to feeder. Never still, often noisy. At last, when nearly all the food has gone, a timid thrush has appeared. It managed to get the last small piece of apple/ bread I could not see which. Now the view is bereft of birds for a second, then a blackie reappears. Now two thrushes walk around the caged bird feeder. I have opened the door of this feeder slightly especially for the thrushes but, annoyingly, they are oblivious to this open door. They give up and look for food on the grass. I slip outside and put a bit more bird food out. A few busy chaffinches flit on and off the bird table. Now a sparrow has joined them. I think about how long I’ve been feeding birds and remember, a few years ago a bright coloured woodpecker sat relaxing on the fence for a magical few moment. It was wonderful to see this woodpecker at such close quarters (the fence is only a few feet away from my window). I stood stock still hoping it would stay or hop to the wired peanut feeder, but it flew away. I’ve never seen one again in the garden. It’s left me with a memory I’ll treasure. The area round our house must be healthy and attractive to birds. They bring so much colour and noise to this small corner of my garden. What a variety of birds we have in this country. Perhaps we take them all for granted. When my credit card bill comes for the bird food I’ve just purchased I’ll remember these moments.