This is why we should chop up apples before we feed them to garden birds! This is only a short video but this little bird was trying for ages.
I actually witnessed a sparrow flying into our bay tree where a female blackbird has been feeding three chicks in her nest.
She was collecting worms for them early this morning and nothing had occurred. I then saw the mother blackbird and the father walking around the bottom of the nest apparently with nothing to do.
I went out to the garden, and found a blackbird chick dead on the ground under the bay tree and on further investigation the nest was empty. All this happened in about 15 minutes.
I am looking at the blackbird parents now in the garden looking very dejected. There are two sparrow nests also in our garden in quite close proximity to the bay tree.
I hope the blackbirds lay another clutch of eggs and have better luck.
All quite upsetting really.
Carol, Thank you for sending me this sad story.
I hope the blackbirds have another clutch of eggs as well.
It’s lovely that so many people are concerned about our garden birds – and Carol is one of them.
There is a possibility it could have been a magpie, but I don’t think so in that short space of time.
I have received other details of sparrows attacking birds. If you read through the Catergories DO SPARROWS ATTACK OTHER BIRDS and also BIRD EATING BIRD you will be able to read some strange things.
Carol, thank you for sharing this with us. It reminds us that we know so little about the life of garden birds.
Please let me know if the blackbirds do have another clutch of eggs (even if you have to send me an emai)
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CAN YOU HELP DAVID
I’m sure you already know it’s WORLD SPARROW DAY tomorrow 20th March 2011,
more info here http://www.worldsparrowday.org/index.html
Wherever you are tomorrow please make a note of the sparrows you see wherever you are in the World and submit the details here on the Tree Sparrow sightings page,
And just say which species and some detail on where exactly they were. We’ll pass the records on the the relevant recorders … don’t forget, the information will help towards understanding the general decline in the worldwide populations of these sociable and fascinating birds.
Hi, Very interesting posts. I live in Devon.
I would like to tell you that last year I noticed a House sparrow chasing a Jackdaw for over 40 metres including 4 change of directions – quite a coincidence as the sparrow was less than a metre away from the Jackdaw.
Isn’t it amazing the things that happen in our countryside. I wonder what Bill Oddie would say to that.
House sparrow chasing a jackdaw goes against all the normal bird behaviour that you can think of.
Through people getting in touch with me I have heard of a lot of ‘bullish’ sparrow behaviour. Maybe I should write a book!
Thanks for telling us about this. I wish I’d seen it.
Sparrows kill other birds and eat all the food at the feeders. The House Sparrows have killed an entire nest of Bluebirds andRobins
Purplepigphoto who is a photographer and birder in USA sent me this. I read that he did not like sparrows and I asked him if he could learn to love them. I can see now why he dislikes them.
Are American Sparrows different to British Sparrows
I’ve received some facts about sparrows taking swallow eggs and harming a robin’s nest, plus a few more observations and I know they are bossy birds but do they harm other birds nests routinely?
I put food in different areas of the garden and find ‘gang’s of sparrows stay together at one feeding area. Other birds mingle together at the other feeders and never join in when a flock of sparrows are eating.
This is why we should always peel and cut up apples when we are putting them out for the birds!
A Robin built a nest under my eaves through this spring.
I watched her sit on them and apparently they hatched as I found blue egg shell in the garden beneath.
However, today…a male sparrow has taken over the nest and appears to be picking at something in the next or taking food out of the baby birds’ mouths.
I can’t tell what’s going on.
He sits on the edge of the next chirping away. He flies to a fro the nest.
What do you make of this?
Also…I haven’t seen the Robin come to her next in a couple of days.
I received the above question the other day. What do you make of this?
Here are two other times when sparrows seem to have thrown other birds out of nests. Click on these links if you would like to read about it.
Here is my reply to the comment :
Thank you for sending this. I will do an article about it. I have a reader called Jennie who has told me about sparrows sabotaging a nesting box that had wrens in it! It is on birdtable news on 29th April.
There is also a story from 1912(!) about sparrows evicting a martin from it’s nest. That is on my blog dated 31 March 2009.
I have never heard of such a think until I started birdtablenews. From what you saw and what Jeannie and the 1912 Gent saw it does seemthat sparrows can get nasty sometimes. Maybe it is when food is scarce – I don’t know, but will see if I can find out more.
Birds do attack other birds. Sparrowhawks eat sparrows and other birds, maybe this is a continuation. I do not know I am only jumping to this conclusion because of my other notes. Trisha from Bird Table News
Please contact me if you can think of a reason for the above, or if you have have heard of robins being aggressive with other bird’s nests – or robins being aggressive at all. I’d love to hear. Trisha
While on a recent trip to Disney (Hollywood Studios) my 10 year old daughter and I were enjoying watching a sparrow feed its cute baby. However, a blackbird came down, attacked the baby and killed it right in front of us.
I told my daughter to look away, but it was too late. She was in tears and extremely upset for the rest of the evening!-0-0-0-0–0-
I should think the blackbird would be, what we call in England, a crow or a rook.
It would just see the young sparrow as an easy meal. We can’t understand this can we? I was once told it is the way of nature. In the wild things feed off other each other.
Thanks for sharing this with us. It is amazing that this happened at Disney (Hollywood Studios). When I saw a bird eating a bird I was in the middle of the countryside with no one about at all.
I suppose as long as there are birds of prey we will always get this, but it is horrible to see.
I also saw a sparrowhawk with it’s talons around a blackbird. Horrible and Amazing. Trisha
A variety of ‘cheep and chirp’
One of the reasons they sing is to keep in contact with the flock they are in.
House sparrows are seed eaters. They means they have beaks that let them crack open the husk and get the seed from inside. Many birds can’t do this.
House sparrows eat a variety of bird food and scraps.
Some food they enjoy –
- nyjer seed
- peanut granules
- black sunflower seeds
- Also a variety of kitchen scraps
House sparrows pick insects from spiders webs. They feed their nestlings on insects.
House sparrows steal food from the beaks of other birds.
Sparrows use bird tables, ground feeders and hanging feeders.
The male house sparrow has
- brown upperparts that are streaked with black
- grey cheeks, rump and crown
- black bin
Female and juvinile birds are –
- more softly patterned
- do not have the grey on the rump and crown
- do not have the black on the head
- They are plainer than the male
House sparrows spend a lot of time in gardens and near buildings. They feed communally.
After the young have fledged the parents use the nest as a warm roost during the winter months.
(Note: I wonder if that explains what I saw last November when I saw a sparrow carrying nesting material in it’s beak.)
The young born that summer use ever greens to roost in during the cold winter nights. They roost together for warmth and to survive.
(Note: We have a lovely evergreen hedge that is full of birdsong in winter. The area is alive with birdsong in winter.)
SIZE OF BIRD
Length 14 cm ( 5 1/2 inches)
Wingspan: 20-22 cm (8-9 inches)
- 2-3 clutches of 3-5 eggs
- The eggs are brown blotched white eggs
- The eggs are laid any time from April to August.
- Eggs are incubated for 11-14 days
- Both parents incubate the eggs
- Fledging is 11-19 days after hatching
- Lined with feathers and bits of plants
- The nest is built by both parents
- House sparrows usually nest near buildings
- House sparrows sometimes make a nest which is domed. They make this of different grasses in a tree or a hedge.
- House sparrows have been known to chase house martins and swallows out of their nests. The house sparrow then uses the ready built nest to rails its young.
OTHER HOUSE SPARROW NOTES
- You rarely see a lone sparrow
- The house sparrow rarely lives away from humans
- House sparrows can survive in areas as diverse as the subartic towns of Sweden to the tropical cities of Brazil.
I put some wire round my bird table a while ago to keep out pigeons and rooks – here is a photo of some sparrows at the bird table – but Birdy Cafe was empty when they flew in.
If you have anything else that can be added about House Sparrows please let me know.
This was taken in June last year.
Sometimes in winter it’s nice to look back to a nice, long June day.