Somehow I got all the way through the day without attending to my bird of the week, so after dinner I went out on the porch to see what I could find out about my local House Sparrows.
According to Lowther & Cink 2006, House Sparrows congregate for 30-60 minutes before heading to their roost, arriving at their roost 30-15 minutes before sunset. My local sunset tonight is 20:05 EDT, so I was out about an hour before that. There were a half dozen young House Sparrows on the utility lines behind my house and another couple birds chirping in the bushes. After about 5 minutes they had all dropped down out of sight except for one lone bird on top of a power pole. And the birds were quiet. After a few more minutes, as I was watching the last bird on the pole, it too dropped down. As I lowered my binocular I saw a Sharp-shinned Hawk swoop lazily past the pole. Had the other birds seen the bird approaching minutes earlier, or was it just a coincidence?
A few minutes after the hawk had left, 14 House Sparrows took off out of my neighbors bushes flying to the southwest fast and direct, about 50 feet up, down the alley and out of sight. Were they heading off to a congregations site in the neighborhood? Might be fun to see if I can find a local roost.
So I wouldn't say I was that diligent in my House Sparrow appreciation so far, but I'm getting better. I'll see how much better I can do tomorrow!
Other birds flying over my house this evening: Barn Swallow, Chimney Swift, Fish Crow, Canada Goose.
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