Overcrowding, sparrow style.

I was taking a fresh glass of water back to the studio and paused to watch a pigeon on the birdbath in the front yard.  I was wondering if I needed to refill it.  As I stood motionless so as not to disturb the pigeon while it was drinking, I was listening to the birdsong all around and realized that one voice was out of place.  A small, high pitched intermittant peep.  After a few moments I located the source, a tiny sparrow chick sitting on the ground.  Waaay to young to be out of the nest.  There are several active nests around my house this year so I went and rescued the child, intending to return him to the box or basket from where he’s come.

sparrow chick

Waay to young to be out on his own.

On the front porch, one nest was empty, two had very young chicks in (one had a chick and an egg) and one nest was incomplete.  I knew that chicks of an almost-fledged aged were in the basket at the side of the garage, and indeed there were three matching siblings.  And a lot*** of poop.

sparrow chicks in nest

Is that two sisters and a brother or two brothers and a sister…

Now that I look closer, I think there are actually five chicks in there.  That tallies with the six eggs I photographed when I first noticed the nest was active.  Very crowded.  But I put the escaped chick back in anyway.  Before I’d gotten down the latter, he plopped back onto the ground under the nest.  I guess he got voted out of the nest, perhaps for being the noisiest.  I think the other nests would not be a good match, he’s so much older than the other chicks and as he’s pretty close to fledging anyway, I figured I’d give it a go. It will probably only take about a week to get him on his own.  I knew there was a reason I kept an old hamster cage.

Must go and feed him again.  Ground up bird seed, flour and honey.  I know, that’s probably not the best thing out there, but it’s the closest thing I have in the house to what he might be given by his parents.  I can see it now.  Mama gets back to the nest.  Hey, where’s Frank?  And five beaks answering back… he drew the short straw…..

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2 thoughts on “Overcrowding, sparrow style.

  1. Sadly I have to report that the chick did not make it through the night. Not sure if he was cold, hungry or lonely. He was sleeping right next to me in his cage, bundled up in an old tshirt. I figured inside was warmer than the nest – and never made a peep about wanting fed. But sometime between 1am and 6am, his tiny soul departed. He’s under the new mesquite now. 😦

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