Familiar Faces

I have not yet discussed house sparrows in this blog, which strikes me as an obscene oversight because house sparrows are the most common bird on earth!

I am sure that you, dear reader, are familiar with house sparrows already, but did you know that these birds are not native to North America? House sparrows were brought to this continent by humans close to 170 years ago. These small songbirds thrived here and can now be found from coast to coast.

House sparrows are often derided: they are an invasive species that compete with native birds for resources. That said, being brought here was hardly the fault of the birds, and it is just plain old unfair to hate them for something so beyond their control.

House sparrows live wherever humans live. If you keep your eyes open, you will notice house sparrow nests in all kinds of urban nooks and crannies like traffic lights, the eaves of houses, and vents. Or you may encounter house sparrows the way I did earlier today. I was just about to enjoy my last slice of acacia pizza when I was distracted by the sight of a raptor perched in a tree in the distance. I walked away from my pizza for just a few minutes to try to get a better look at the bird and when I returned, house sparrows were busy nibbling my pizza! Even though I had really been looking forward to eating that last slice of my vegan pizza, I decided I had better leave it to the birds – the tapioca cheese had little sparrow footprints in it and I found that quite unappetizing.


PS: I have three more fabulous links about house sparrows for you today. The first is an article from Smithsonian Magazine entitled The Story of the Most Common Bird in the World. The second is an article from the Audubon Society called How the House Sparrow Conquered the World Is Encoded in Its Genes. Finally, I found a marvelous video from National Geographic called You’re a Sparrow. Here’s How to Survive New York. Enjoy!1-14-2020

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