A few observations watching a sparrow family from my window

I have several birdhouses in my backyard. One of them I can view from my kitchen window over my sink. Given I seem to always be doing dishes, I thought it was a great spot for the birdhouse.

Every year sparrows will use the birdhouse. Every year I watch the dating between males and females. When they pair off, then a courtship starts followed by house hunting. I have several birdhouses. I thought that it was similar to house hunting for humans when it is a seller’s market. More than one prospective buyer (in this case pair of sparrows) vying for the same house.

Eventually the birdhouse is occupied by a pair of sparrows. Then there is the move-in week with new furniture, I mean the nesting material delivered. Actually it is a shared task between the male and female sparrow.

And before long, the female will lay several eggs. At first she is fairly active but eventually the male is doing more work while the female remains in the house, nesting. It does not seem long when there is lots of activity again by both the male and female. The babies have arrived. Think triplets or more!

Three tiny mouths to feed all day long. Make that three huge mouths! The birds are all mouths for the first week or two. The parents are constantly feeding, taking turns. The bigger the young get the louder and hungrier they seem to get. I keep thinking this must be what it is like have triplets. (I must state I did not have children so I am imaging but I do remember growing up and my parents taking care of 3 children. Not triplets but still three mouths to feed).

Eventually I can see the young. I read that they have specific locations in the nest and are fed in a specific rotation. Too me it looks like one of them is the more dominant. Perhaps it was the first egg to hatch. The noise from the birdhouse get louder!

The male and female appear to be on autopilot; feed & clean house, feed & clean house…Those big mouths start to appear smaller as they grow quickly to the size of the adults.

Then its flight school. Can you imagine teaching 3 children at once to drive? Actually I think the fledglings sneak out when their parents are not looking. Their flights are a bit reckless not breaking in time and crashing into the bird feeders. When young they appear to have no fear, flinging themselves off the bird feeder expecting their wings to safely avoid the ground

And in a few short weeks the house is empty of young. And they appear to have left without saying goodbye. The parents were still bringing food home and appear to be surprised. Empty nest syndrome??

But the young are still around and still asking for food. Only now the parents are delivering it to the fledglings’ new pads which appear to be about 10 yards away from the birdhouse, in the trees at my property’s edge.

They still have their mouths open…..”feed me”.

HartFelt wishes that your fledglings are safe, secure and with plenty of food.

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