Thursday, 10 April 2008

Of Sparrow meetings and Starling visits.

There have been developments at my feeding station since I last posted. First of all, as a last ditch attempt to attract more birds I invested in a nyjer (niger) seed feeder and some niger seeds. As in the the month and a half that the peanut feeder hung outside, there was no activity, I replaced it with the niger seed feeder.
....and I think it has paid off. A block away from my house is a hedge which houses a permanent house sparrow population, and I kept wondering why the sparrows wouldnt venture one block away to feed upon the treats offered at my garden.
This morning I heard the unmistakable chatter of a sparrow and looked out of my window to see a male house sparrow sitting in my hedge and chattering away as if to ask if to wake up any hidden dangers around. However, he soon flew away.
A few hours later I heard the sparrow again and I looked out to see a female sparrow sitting in the hedge and observing every movement around. I think both of them were checking out if the place was safe enough for feeding or if the feeders below were actually a trap. Eventually the sparrow flew away without feeding and wasnt back for the rest of the day. I suppose they have gone away to take a decision if the spot is safe or not. I hope the decision is a favourable one!

The first time I saw starlings I thought they were amazing birds, I had no clue that they were so common. Their spotted metallic sheen and yellow beaks are atrractive enough, but in addition to that their songs are just as interesting. I`d mentioned in one of my earlier posts how a couple of them had been foraging in my garden. Well , they were back today. They seem to have no interest in the feeders though and prefered to dig insects out of the ground. Anyway, I didnt waste any time and I was snapping away before these quick footed birds vanished around the corner.
Its surprising that both the sparrow and starling populations have declined so much that they are on the Red list. At the same time these two birds are also the most common garden birds in the UK

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