Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Wee Sparrow


There was excitement in the backyard yesterday. I looked out and saw a tiny baby sparrow hopping around on our back patio. One of its parents was beside it. I ran for my camera and kept my distance while taking some photos but my presence was enough to scare it. It went scurrying into our long, not-yet-cut grass. At that point, its parent was no where to be seen. I felt so bad. I was worried that Meeko might find it, so we kept him in the house. Then I worried that someone would step on the poor thing because it wasn't obvious at all where it was. I ended up putting a metal fence around the area where it was hiding as a reminder to us of where it was. Then I went to garden on the other side of the yard to give the little sparrow time and space.

Emma was inside the house and monitored it from there. She googled baby sparrows as we weren't sure if it had fallen out of one of our birdhouses or if it was really time to fly. She found that if it had feathers (which it did) that leaving its house was most likely intentional and it would soon be able to fly. Sure enough, a little later our little fellow was gone.

The downward crook of its beak makes it look a bit sad or at least very serious. I suppose in a sparrow's life, the first day of flying is very serious and I'm sorry that I added to this little one's stress.
I am happy however to have photos of him and think I will try to do a painting of him. Right now though, I have a few more days of gardening ahead of me.

20 comments:

  1. Not such a happy ending here. Every year the magpie babies become fledglings. It is a raucous event. The parents spend a lot of time squawking at them. I translate it into 'fly d*mn it, fly!!'. One ended up on the ground in our yard and our female lab got to it quicker than I could. I spotted a neighbor trying to get her boxer away from one and trying to get her dog into the house.
    I know Mother Nature does not require all of her critters to make it to maturity but all the same it was a stressful day for all concerned.

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    1. Sorry to hear that. We have had tragedies in our backyard too. Meeko hasn't got to a bird yet and I hope he doesn't but instinct is a very strong thing. Our tragedies have been due to other birds preying upon little ones. I have shed tears while gathering broken little bodies. None so far this year.

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  2. So sweet, love all the animal babies of this season!

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    1. Oh yes. There are goslings and ducklings across the street in our park. I love this time of year too.

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  3. Aw poor sweet baby ... I'm sure he will be safe & ok and that his parents will come pick him up soon :)
    Thank you for sharing these adorable photos with us !
    oxox

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    1. I think he is safe. Thank goodness. I spent the long weekend in the garden and saw other baby sparrows. I love how they are round at this point--like feathered toddlers.

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  4. Gosh, it can be so stressful when all the baby birds first fledge. I'm hoping I don't see any until they are well and truly flying around following Mum or Dad! I end up like you, watching out for them......stressful. Magpies are the worst along with cats, for taking the babies, I'm afraid if I hear any distress calls from parent birds, I'm out there clapping my hands to scare off such birds/cats. The dog got so tuned in to the distress calls of blackbirds, he would run out barking,he's not so bad lately ( a bit slower). Hope you see the baby sparrow with its mum again :)

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    1. Here it is the blue jays that are the bad guys. I have been known to out in our backyard saying "There will be no murders here". I wonder what the neighbours think? :)

      I have read that blue jays have one of the highest calcium requirements of all birds which helped me to understand why they go after the eggs. Nature is full of beauty and cruelty (at least to our eyes). I try to understand but also feel very protective of my backyard friends.

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  5. A happy end for this cute baby sparrow. How lucky you are to be able to take beautiful photos.

    One of our birdhouses is occupied with great tits. they are feeding their babies like crazy mothers. i think the babies will fly away very soon now I am a bit stressed when they do it because magpies are on the lookout, and one year we helplessly saw magpies attack all chicks I know it is "la loi de la nature," but we were desperate.

    Bon courage pour le jardinage et bonne semaine

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    1. Merci, Hélène. We worry about the blue jays here. I know exactly what you mean about feeling desperate. When I hear lots of screeching in the backyard, I run out and try to intervene. We have put the birdhouses here so feel responsible for the birds' safety. The birds provide so much joy but, yes, there is occasional heartbreak.

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  6. I love it when people care about the animals of this world. He sure is a cutie too.

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    1. The little sparrows make me smile. I have trouble understanding people who don't care about animals.

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  7. What a lovely post about your cute sad looking sparrow. I'm so pleased he was alright despite your worry about him. We have a nest of Redstart on the beams of the terrace. We have been potting up some plants there as it's been pouring with rain & needed the shelter. It's been amazing watching the antics of the parents coming in to feed the babies from a different direction each time, hoping we can't see them. I expect like each year they will have flown the nest without us ever seeing them.

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    1. I don't know that bird but it sounds lovely to have been privy to their comings and goings. I just looked it up. How lovely: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Redstart/id

      One year we had swallows nest in our backyard. The male would perch very close to me and sing. I really felt like we had a special relationship. :) The swallows tried to return the next year but the sparrows chased them away. My daughters and I even made new birdhouses with smaller openings specifically for the swallows but I guess the sparrows message was loud and clear and they never returned.

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  8. They are darling little birds. I used to be adoptive mum to all the little baby sparrows that fell/were blown out of their church steeple nests (we lived next door). No sparrows where I live now, they are shot on sight if they try and make it over from the east coast (being a non-native aussie species).

    Happy Gardening Kathleen!

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    1. That was a special job you had. :) Sparrows are darling but they are aggressive population-wise. Australia has a very protective policy. Sounds harsh but I guess otherwise your native species would suffer.

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  9. it is so adorable and love the glimpse of your new tribute to it in watercolour

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  10. Such a sweet beauty! Gardening seems to have been a very inspiring activity for art making - lovely!

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    1. They go hand in hand for me. This time of year is very intense for me. I want to paint and garden at the same time. :)

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Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog and to leave me a comment. I love reading them. -- Kathleen

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