There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

Short-thick bill
Black mask
White cheeks and strip on shoulder
Grey crown
Black bib (varying in amount)*
Chestnut nape
Chestnut with black markings on back and wings
Whitish-grey belly

Listen to its song.

*NOTE: As winter progresses into spring, wear and preening expose a black bib on the male house sparrows. The female birds do not have this bib.

My plan today was to head to Swan Lake for my daily photo shoot with the birds. On the way, I stopped at Starbucks for a warm drink and encountered a whole flock of these birds in a bush outside the coffee shop. Rain had started to fall by the time I left the shop and the outside tables were deserted. If these birds were hanging around waiting for a crumb to fall, they would have been disappointed. On the other hand, I was quite pleased with their presence as it meant I was saved from having to venture out in the rain. I could delay my trip to Swan Lake until it was a little dryer. 

Learn more about the House Sparrow.

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