Birding in the Garden

May 26, 2010

I don’t pay a lot of attention to most of the sparrows that frequent my garden. They are not that conspicuous in the garden (unless an English Sparrow visits) and I pay more attention to the wrens,  cardinals that come often, doves that fly up unannounced when I approach, mockingbirds with bad or scolding attitudes, the robins that enjoy my strawberries, the bluebirds that seem to delight in my garden, and goldfinch when they come in the fall.

About a month ago I was in the garden headed towards one of my favorite plants to check its bloom.  All of a sudden a little bird jumped out from under a large daylily plant and just about surprised me to death.  He just sorta scurried forward and when about 5 feet away, just went about his business foraging for food.

Several days laterthe same thing happened on the other side of the garden.

Now he seems to be a full time resident in my garden. (I don’t know if it’s a he or she since from what I read both sexes look alike.)  Recently I have seen 2 or 3 of them in the garden at the same time.  I’ve looked for a nest since I understand that their nests are usually concealed in growth on the ground, but I’ve not been able to find anything.  I have daylillies, ecinacia,  solidago and anthemis and a few other select plants inside my vegetable garden and they are very lush — so there are lots of places to hide or nest.

We’ve identified our little visitors as song sparrows. They have a streaked breast with a larger central spot.

I read they like to eat beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, ants and other insects especially in summer.  They supposedly switch to mostly seeds in the winter, but from what I ‘ve seen they’re eating seed now.  They are said to eat hard seed produced by grasses and weeds, but I don’t have too many weeds in the garden — especially those going to seed.

I couldn’t tell for sure in the pictures but it looked like an orangy-yellow seed in her (his) beak — which I am assuming must be the wheat seed in the straw I use for mulch.  Let me know what you think it is. Also, doesn’t this bird look younger?

In the next picture I think he (she) has an insect of some kind.  Am I right?

These little guys don’t seem to object to having me in the garden as long as they can stay about 5 feet away.  When they find a morsel that seems wonderful they fly up on a tomato stake or the fence to perch and make little chirpy sounds while looking at me.  They are known for their melodious song, but have yet to delight me with it while in the garden.

Bill (my husband) came out with his camera several afternoons and was fortunate enough to get pictures of these little guys for me to share with you.  It’s sorta nice having them as co-workers in my garden.

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  • I enjoyed reading about these little guys. They picked a nice home-garden with a built-in photographer.

  • Sweet! We have installed a birdbath in the garden with a sprinkler head that is connected to the drip irrigation system. It is so much fun to watch the antics as our feathered friends drink and bathe.



  • What a great idea Gail! You’ll get a lot of joy from that investment. Our bird bath is a bit closer to the house, but we still get to enjoy a lot antics from the window. It’s amazing how watching little feathered creatures is so much fun.

  • Indeed they did Charlotte! And their photographer especially likes it when they are tame enough to stay put and look cute.

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