Friday, June 3, 2011

Song At the Window

I’ve been lucky each year to have a pair of Song Sparrows claim the landscaping in front of our house as their nesting territory. The song is something that I enjoy hearing as I come and go. When I’m distracted, the song becomes part of the background sounds and I don’t consciously hear it, but I would certainly miss it if it disappeared. The song isn’t always noticeable in the house, so it was quite a surprise when it sounded like the bird was right in the room with me.

I found the sparrow perched on the window sill and giving me my own private serenade. He didn’t seem aware of my presence on the other side of the glass. I hadn’t seen him act this way before, but I thought I knew what was going on.

It didn’t take long for the bird to verify my suspicions. First came the tapping on the glass, then the hopping back and forth along the window and finally, the fluttering against the glass. The territorial male Song Sparrow was trying to chase away its reflection.

I’ve experienced this type of behavior from Robins and Cardinals, sometimes with window reflections, but mostly with the car mirror. This is the first time I’ve had this happen with a Song Sparrow.

The attack against the window is not continuous. The sparrow still moves around his territory, calling from various established perches. The roughly oval shaped route seems to go window - roof – bush – bush – electric wire – roof – bush – bush and then start again at the window. I hate to see him wasting all of this energy fighting with himself. If he keeps this up, I’ll cover the window to block the reflection.

The juniper at the corner of the house is the usual site for a nest. I normally find the old nest during the winter and clean it out of the way. There have been years when the new nest was constructed in the same location as the previous year. If there’s a nest in there this year, I’ll be able to tell soon after the eggs hatch. Young Song Sparrows can be quite noisy when being fed and it’s easy to hear their peeping while I’m sitting on the porch.

Perched on the roof above the window, the Song Sparrow declares his claim on this territory. I’ve read of males maintaining the same territory for several years, so maybe this fellow has been here before. I hope to always enjoy Song Sparrows residing just outside my front door.

Note: I was trying to think of the best way to cover the window when I suddenly realized that I had a package of screens in the garage that were made to fit on the outside of these windows. I only use the screens on a couple of our windows, because they cannot be quickly removed. I’m the type of person who may suddenly throw the window open and interact with something outside. This is hard to do when blocked by a screen. However, the screens are perfect for keeping a small bird from seeing his reflection in the glass, so this window now has a screen attached. I hope the sparrow doesn’t find any of the other windows.

No comments:

Post a Comment