Friday, July 23, 2010

July 23: Bully

The song sparrow that visits my little window feeder at work has shown himself to be somewhat of a bully. He gets right in the feeder, kicks all the seed around, chows down for awhile, and if, say, a chickadee flutters nearby wanting to join the feeding fun, he won't let it perch. The chickadees and goldfinches, both slightly smaller birds, are forced to take their turns when the sparrow is busy singing at one of his special spots, which include the dogwood tree, the porch railing, and a post in the parking lot. Fortunately he sings often and all day.

I'm fond of this sparrow, despite his territorial behavior. He visits throughout the day, often pausing on the window sill to look in at me. He's a regular, a neighbor. Sometimes I'll even see him around with his mate, so maybe his hogging the feeder is just a hormonal phase while they're nesting. He really makes a mess, too, scattering seed bits and empty hulls all over the ground and hollowing trenches in the filled feeder. The daintier chickadees are probably counting the days till he migrates.

Sparrow's assertive,
a feeder bully, seed hog.
And yet, when he sings...

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