March 2nd   Leave a comment

It was much less windy today with the waves half the size of yesterday, although still a day to be inland. The snow was slowly melting all day and the roads were completely clear by the evening. The tree sparrows visiting my back garden feeder were a distraction again as I worked at home. At least eight today, always visiting as a tight flock. They visited every fifteen minutes or so until about 10 in the morning and then disappeared until mid-afternoon. I can’t think they were having a hard time of it. That’s their typical pattern of feeding in good weather. But my feeder needed filling up afterwards so it was probably making all the difference. If we know a sparrow weighs about 24g and assume it needs about 30% of its body weight in seed a day, then a sparrow needs 7 gm of seed a day. If we get a 1 kg bag of mixed seed (high end low wheat stuff) for a pound then that will keep one sparrow alive for 142 days if it eats nothing else – let’s say that’s the winter covered (it certainly is for usually mild Crail). So, a pound a bird a winter at maximum, and each bird will be eating natural food as well, so that pound probably goes much, much further in terms of bird survival. Sounds like a bargain even for just the entertainment I got today watching the tree sparrows shyly egging each other on to be the first at the feeder so that the rest would know it was safe. Then their jostling cockiness when they all finally got to the feeder, but on a knife edge, with the slightest disturbance turning them back to their game of grandmother’s footsteps.

A terrible photo of one of my tree sparrows: the result of a misspent morning working at home, a telescope, a snowy window and my phone camera

Posted March 2, 2018 by wildcrail in Sightings

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