Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Song Sparrow Story

I was very surprised yesterday to see a Song Sparrow at our feeders. Surprised for two reasons; one I hadn't seen this species since early November, and secondly, there was so much freezing rain coming down throughout the day there were hardly any birds about! It makes one wonder where these 'out of season birds' come from? I think this one perhaps must have over- wintered somewhere nearby to be around this early. After feeding for a while it sought shelter on the ground under some tangled branches that had been beaten down by the snow during the many winter storms we have endured. And its a good thing that it had left the relative openness of the feeders for suddenly a Sharp-shinned Hawk swooped down, and landed on a branch nearby! The Song Sparrow was suddenly no where to be seen and the Sharp-shinned flew up and perched in a big, old Pine overlooking our feeder area; and waited. The Song Sparrow had hidden itself under the tangled brush and there was no way the hawk could get it from there. Meanwhile there were three Gray Squirrels chasing each other about on the ground and as one ran over the Song Sparrows hiding space it emerged for a moment; but then quickly ducked into the brush again. The hawk stayed in the Pine tree for a long time while I stood and watched from my window, but eventually it gave up and flew off.
And the Song Sparrow stayed and was seen around the feeders for the rest of the afternoon.
update: March 10th
There are now two Song Sparrows at our feeders and there has been no sign of the Sharp-shinned Hawk since the 5th.


Mary said...

Great shots! I love the song sparrow pics and's such a cute little bird. When I have one it is always single like this one...I know they have to have mates out there somewhere! The squirrel is adorable and that hawk picture is terrific! I like its watchful expression and how it's all puffed up. You really captured it well. Nice post!

Sandpiper said...

Fantastic pictures!!!! I always get so nervous when the hawks come around here. I've seen kills in my backyard before, and after watching the baby squirrels and birds being fed and growing up, I just want to protect them all, even though I know it's nature's way.

April said...

Your pictures have a wonderful clarity to them. That poor little sparrow - the way he's puffed up in the 2nd picture, he looks like he is just trying to stay warm. His plumage is lovely, as is the hawk's. Cute picture of the squirrel; they are such funny little creatures.

NW Nature Nut said...

Nice photos today. Thanks for sharing the story.

me and my camera said...

Glad that you all enjoyed the pictures and the story. The little Song Sparrow is still here at our feeders this morning.


Mary, this one seems to be a loner too; I wonder where it has been all winter.

Sandpiper, I get nervous too whenever I see a hawk in our feeder area hiding in the big old Pine.

April, it was a cold, wet, nasty, day and the little sparrow probably was cold, and definitely hungry.

Nature Nut, its always enjoyable when your pictures can tell a story.

And I'm glad that the story had a happy ending for the sparrow.

Thank you all for your comments.

Mary said...

Love the new banner!

RuthieJ said...

Those are great pictures of the song sparrow. I had several in my yard all last summer, but could never got a really good look at them. What a pretty little bird!

me and my camera said...

It must like our place for it is here again today for the 3rd day in a row. Its a nice little bird and our feeders are quite close to the windows so sometimes it is quite close and easy to get pictures of. Its the first sparrow that I became familiar with for up until my first id of one, they all seemed the same to me. Glad you enjoyed.

Kingsdowner said...

Great story and pictures!

me and my camera said...

Glad that you enjoyed. The little Song Sparrow is still around and has survived yet another winter storm of snow and freezing rain on the weekend. I'm glad that it has found a refuge with a ready food supply.