Animals

Celebrate Urban Birds

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House Sparrows are easily found in places where there are buildings. Together with another species introduced in America, the Domestic Pigeon, they are found within our most common birds. Their constant presence outside our homes makes us easily ignore their presence, however, it is a sign of the disappearance of native species. House Sparrows, with their ability to live so attached to human beings, have benefited from our own success.

Distribution

House Sparrows live attached to the human being and his constructions. You find them in cities, towns, suburbs and farms, particularly near cattle. They are not distributed in vast wild areas, forests, or grasslands. In extreme environments, House Sparrows only survive if they live in the immediate vicinity of the human being.

Feeding

House Sparrows eat mostly grains and seeds, feed for livestock, and in the cities, waste. Among the crops they feed on are corn, oats, wheat and soy. It also feeds on herbs such as ragweed, hand crab grass and other weeds, and buckwheat. House Sparrows also eat bird feeder seeds including millet, sorghum and sunflower seeds. During the summer, these urban birds eat insects and share them with their chicks. They hunt insects on the fly, pouncing on them, chasing lawn mowers or visiting lanterns at twilight.

Behavior

House Sparrows jump instead of walking on the ground. They are social birds that eat in large flocks, and crumbs or seeds are disputed in the soil. They are often seen in bird feeders, you can also see them bathing in puddles or wallowing in dust in open places, ruffling their feathers and splashing water or dust. Because they live in large groups, House Sparrows have developed many ways to manifest dominance and submission: Nervous birds shake their tails and exalted birds crouch down putting their horizontal bodies, stretching their heads forward, and stretching and curving the wings, while keeping their tail stopped. This discontent behavior can be made more exaggerated by raising the wings, bristling the feathers of the throat and crown, extending the feathers of the tail and opening the beak. Males with the blackest throat tend to dominate others. When the males meet an available female, they inflate the chest, keep their wings partially open, wiggle their tail, and jump in front of the female, turning sideways and sometimes bowing from top to bottom. If other males see this behavior, they may fly in the middle of the action and join the act. In flocks, males tend to dominate females in the fall and winter, but this is reversed in favor of females during spring and summer.

The nests make them based on dry and rough vegetation, which they usually stuff in a hole until it is almost full, after that layer, the birds use finer materials, such as feathers, threads and paper that they use to cover the interior. Sometimes, House Sparrows build nests side by side, so nests may share adjacent walls. They have a habit of reusing their nests.

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