Through most of the spring and summer, a Song Sparrow uses this perch to sing his song of ownership over a prime nesting territory. The bounds of that territory may match the garden fence, because the nests are mostly to be found somewhere in the garden.
because this shrub is the best source of cover early in the year. Had it not been for the sparrows, I would
have removed the juniper long ago. I do
trim it back severely each year so it doesn’t take up too much gardening space.
I can hear when a nest is active, but finding
the nest without disturbing it is nearly impossible.
This shot is from the same angle as the
last. I just pulled up the concealing
This makes the nest quite well hidden and
difficult for most predators to approach.
Severe downdraughts from a powerful thunderstorm laid over a portion of
this stand of Ashy Sunflowers. The
result was a tangle of horizontal stems close to the ground.
I stopped my work when
I noticed a wad of grass seemingly stuffed between the stalks. The grass should not have been there.
A couple of the stalks I had already cut had
formed part of the roof over the nest, so the nest was more exposed than
intended. I bent a couple of fresh
stalks over the nest and wove them in with the others in an attempt to repair
the damage I had done. Then I left the
area alone for a few days and hoped that the sparrows would accept my
alteration of their original design.
When next I checked, young birds were growing nicely. If there was a problem, it was being caused
by the wind blown plants attempting to return to a more upright position. The shifting plant stalks had moved the nest
about 30 degrees off level. The
nestlings seemed comfortable in their slanted home and were old enough to
adjust their positions to match the new attitude. Song Sparrow nestlings leave the nest about
ten days after hatching, so these only had a few more days left in the nest
I checked the nest and it
The adult birds were seen busily searching
for insects to deliver to their offspring.
It’s hard to tell how many sparrows have been produced from my vegetable
garden. I am assuming that it is the
same male that comes back each year to this particular spot. I once read of a male Song Sparrow that returned
to the same nesting area 16 years in a row.
I hope my bird can match that longevity.
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