What the bird… #1: House Sparrow

The House Sparrow is everywhere in Swiss towns. They clean out all the crumbs of sandwiches and other food consumed on the street.
House Sparrow

Whole shrubs seem to tweet when families of sparrow gather together for information sharing.
House Sparrow

Even though they seem abundant, their number is declining. If sparrow parents feed their fledglings too much bread instead of chewy protein in forms of caterpillars and insects, the little ones don’t survive.
House Sparrow female with food
House Sparrow egg

Even sparrows are important for our biodiversity. An evident story is the one from China: Mao thought that sparrows eat too much corn or rice on the fields. They handed out money for dead sparrows and soon millions of them were killed. But the missing birds did not only eat no rice but also no insects and soon there was a plague of locusts, followed by a famine.
House Sparrow female
House Sparrow male

For a long time I didn’t know that there is more than one sparrow. The field sparrow and the italian sparrow do look very similar. More next time.
More information; http://www.vogelwarte.ch/house-sparrow.html


~ by Natalie on January 8, 2014.

2 Responses to “What the bird… #1: House Sparrow”

  1. The rock sparrow is also in southern France but it does not look like those… The Spanish, Italian, and the tree sparrow really look like the house, and are all in the same area 😉 Beautiful pictures and unfortunate true story… It is also increasing in other country like Britain I think!

    • Thanks Chris – I had to look up the rock sparrow. It doesn’t live in Switzerland, more southern Europe, like the spanish sparrow. But good to know 🙂

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