Back to the Archives – 13th August, 2018
One of the advantages of taking photos of the local bird-life from my apartment lounge, is the ability to rest my elbows on my desk to make hand-held shots. If I’ve got fair light and a fast enough shutter speed, (or the continuous shooting setting), its possible to also capture birds on the move.
Sometimes I can capture those quick little seed peckers – other times not.
Today’s post is about the female House Sparrow from a week ago. I had already broken the bright blue ceramic bird bath in my over-zealous balcony cleaning and the House Sparrows had seemed bewildered at the lack of a reliable water source in my lovely balcony Herb, Flower and Vegetable garden.
Australia actually has 2 Sparrows – the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) and the Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus). Very similar, except the Eurasian Tree Sparrow is only found in a small area and has distinctive white cheek patches with a black central spot (among other differing feather colours and markings). I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Eurasian one to be honest.
The House Sparrow is quite small; male with a distinctive grey crown, black face and bib. The Chestnut-brown stripe over the eye links to a brown nape. The back and wings are richly mottled chestnut, black and white and rump grey-buff. Underparts greyish white.
The female and immature have a buff stripe over the eye as shown in this post and are much paler. They’re easy to identify.
Unlike the Spotted Turtle-doves on my previous apartment balcony to the north-east of inner Melbourne, I have yet to really see any distinguishing marks or tell Sparrows apart.
Some of the ‘boys’ are a little aggressive and territorial, but I guess the females might be also if they had a nest nearby.