Tuesday, April 14, 2020

House sparrows in the April garden -

"I suppose I am a sparrow, a

 stay-at-home bird." Gladys Taber (1899-1980)

How true - most of us around the globe are all 'sparrows' 
right now!
House sparrow: Passer domesticus
Introduced from Europe to Central Park, New York in the mid-1800's and now
 found throughout North America. 
They build domed cup nests within a cavity - and this particular female above
picked my birdhouse which was a huge surprise!

While walking in the garden yesterday, luckily with camera in hand, this bird seemed
 bothered as I approached the birdhouse and perched on the nearby split rail fence. 
I noticed the insect in its beak and knew it was a mother bringing food to its young. 

After a minute it flew up to one of the entrances on the birdhouse and stayed long
 enough for me to get these shots.
Female House sparrow with an orange Asian Lady Beetle lunch for her hatchlings - wonder
 how many are in there!
She would have laid 4-6 white eggs with brown markings. 
Both parents feed the young for 14-17 days prior to fledging. Then they'll be
 on their own searching for insects, fruit and coming to the bird feeders.

She soon popped into the nest site - I couldn't believe how lucky I was to catch her 
and to be able to share these photos of another busy garden bird.

If you are my age, or older, I know you may be familiar with the late American
 author of 59 books, Gladys Taber whom I quoted above. I recall her writings, 
especially her columns in the Ladies' Home Journal and Family Circle magazines.
 I loved those publications in the 1960's when I was a new wife and homemaker here
 in the USA. There was so much to learn about becoming a 'domestic goddess' 
in a new to me country. . . . . . .Ms. Taber's writings certainly helped out a lot!

Several of you requested the Pistachio Muffins recipe - I'll put that up soon.
They are so easy and truly yummy!


  1. How nice of Mrs. Sparrow to stay there and pose for your long enough to get those beautiful pictures!
    Gladys Taber - there is Nan whose blog I've been reading for many years, she periodically (re-)reads Gladys Taber's books, and every time she wrotes about and quotes from them on her blog, I want to instantly go and find myself copies of the books.

    1. Meike, as she wrote about the countryside, which we both love, I bet you would enjoy her books also.

  2. Fantastic photos! Mrs. Sparrow was quite accommodating. Yup, home sparrows now for certain. I have four of Taber's books and enjoy dipping into them. They are perfect for each season of the year.

    1. Thanks Vee. I think I check out her books - my reading stack is getting low!

  3. House Sparrows quite often nest where there is a nearby hole in which the male can roost and special "sparrow boxes" exist which are built to the birds requirements. It looks as though your birdhouse would suit them admirably. They are in decline in the UK as modern houses don't have nooks and crannies that the birds can nest in.

    1. All 6 'apartments' in the birdhouse were rented last spring John. When we opened to clean out in winter, we were so surprised. We knew Eastern bluebirds and a Nuthatch had nested, but don't know who the others were. Quite a mess of different nests - really interesting.

  4. You must have an amazingly professional camera, Mary, to get such superb shots. (Or perhaps it's due to the person behind the lens!)
    I have an old Gladys Taber Stillmeadow book somewhere, lovely writing.

    1. Barbara, just that same Sony point and shoot I've used for several years since I gave my DSLR to the granddaughter!! Can't manage a heavy camera and lenses now with my bad shoulder!

  5. Wow, Mary. What amazing pictures of that mommy bird gathering bugs for it's babies.

    1. I just wish could see in the birdhouse for a peek at the babies!

  6. Wonderful images Mary - what a great photographer you are.
    Your Orange Asian lady beetle looks so similar to our ladybird beetles, but I have read that unlike ladybird beetles, their docile relatives, this orange ladybug can be aggressive and even bite.

    1. Yes, I always called them orange ladybirds - until I looked them up today I discovered their true name!
      Thanks for the heads up - just lucky I was close enough to make these shots!

  7. Love seeing your nesting birds.
    We have a bird nesting in a hole in our big tree. Not a pretty bird like yours, but still a bird.

  8. Dear Mary,
    Has National Geographic contacted you yet? That first photo is a true winner. Actually, all of the photos are sensational.

  9. As always, your photos are spectacular! In reading the comment above I see you captured these with a point and shoot. Really? I think I'll blow the dust off of mine and see if I can do better. Perhaps you might consider giving a mini photo class during our stay home days ;). You have just given me a new appreciation for sparrows. I always thought of them as plain, nuisance type birds.

  10. Enjoyed your photos of the sparrow. During this time when the library is closed I am rereading books I have at home and every other book I'm reading is one by Gladys Taber. I've always liked her writing and I have been fortunate enough to buy most of her books second hand. They're restful reading.


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