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The Chipping Sparrow

Several days ago I went to a little spot near my house and sat underneath a Douglas Fir.  It was a random choice, but in a few minutes I noticed a tiny nest on a low branch.  As I watched, mom and dad Chipping Sparrow were taking turns feeding three very tiny newborns.  I’ve been going there everyday for the past four days, sitting under the tree for about an hour, watching those good parents bring in food.

Mom feeding babies first days

Those babies are always hungry and their parents seem haggard.  I’ve gone at random times of the day, and the parents spend their whole time catching food and bringing it in.

Close up of hungry baby, almost hairless

Newborn sparrow

How much they they’ve grown in such a short time!  On the first day they were ugly little half-bald things, and now they look like almost grown chipping sparrows (without the typical coloration yet).


Four days later, how much he's grown


Besides these sparrows, I’ve been watching a robin sitting everyday on her nest in the corners of my home and a bluebird mom in one of my boxes.  It makes me think:  human mothers that are neglectful or unfit should be made to spend a few seasons watching, everyday for hours in the spring, these birds and how they care for their young.  They are good and tireless parents and perfect models.

4 Responses

  1. How fun! I am not sure I would know a Chipping Sparrow if I saw one! I don’t have it checked in my bird book as one that I have seen. But then there are so many sparrows, maybe I have, and it didn’t register as one I haven’t seen before. Loved the photos! We have a robin who has built a nest on top of our back door outdoor light, and we have watched them there for a number of years now. As you say tireless parents, as were my eagle parents, who will now continue feeding the fledgling for some time to come, even though he has left the nest. Enjoyed this very much. You can check out my baby robins from last year here: http://twitpic.com/photos/WyoAnne?page=3


  2. Hi, I have a question about your DG projects as we are about to do several areas in our yard with DG. Where do you find the Ryerson thin hard steel bendable border?



    • I don’t know where you live, but you should call a landscape supply company. It is sometimes called by different names, so you might have to describe the product to them.


  3. Excellent post w/ intimate pics of a great bird.


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