Friday, July 20, 2007


Remember Little Chip the young Chipping Sparrow?

Well, even back then if his parent took too long to return from a foraging flight, I noticed that Little Chip would begin to look around and forage for himself. His parent's noticed too and by Wednesday had decided that Little Chip should be feeding himself. He sat on the bench of the picnic table and "whirred for two hours". His parents had made themselves scarce and there was no response to his begging. He now feeds himself. No, nothing had happened to his parents, it was just time for him to grow up. I saw both parents eating under the feeder after dark on Wednesday. Were they hiding in the bushes in the afternoon so he wouldn't catch sight of them?

Though Left and Right House Finch who were eating fresh seed from the vine already seemed on their own. This House Finch poised for a bath late in the day, looks up as a male House Finch cruises by. It isn't even leaving one's parents no matter the species.

Suddenly there is a veritable flock of young House Sparrows. They seem to be quite independent and fast learners in the food department.

No big black ants at the hummingbird feeder this week. The small brown ones seem to have taken over. But also every evening now, a female Ruby-throat stops by for a meal.

It's hot again and the...

Battle of the Bath...

Continues. This Robin was ousted by the sparrow, who

in turn was ousted by a House Finch.

Who suddenly,

just can't believe his eyes.

Plucky, he continues his bath. But keeps an eye peeled.

And who arrives at the bowl. The Robin.
Note the raised aggressive feathers on the House Finch's neck ruff and back.

House Finch wins the interaction.

Then he bathes,

and bathes,

and bathes.

Only to be replaced by a male House Sparrow.
Who suddenly spies something on the ground and decides not to bathe at all.

And the field is clear for a moment before the next foray begins.
Donegal Browne

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