Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Update on Chipping Sparrows

One week ago I indicated that some Chipping sparrows had built a nest in the garden, in a spot where you have no choice but to walk right by it.

The mother produced four eggs and has been sitting most of the day for a week or so, taking a five or ten minute break every now and then, in order to feed herself and stretch her wings. This last weekend, the eggs hatched and now the babies seem to be doing well. Covered with fluffy down, they seem to sleep most of the time.

Chipping Sparrow chick

Chipping Sparrow chicks

The funny thing is that they sleep with their beaks open, in order not to miss an opportunity to be fed. The mother must be able to bring them water in her beak, as we are going through a heat wave, and without water these chicks would dehydrate. In fact, the mother often seems to be sitting over the edge of the nest, rather than covering the babies which, I think, would be too hot for them.

The big white blobs are New Dawn Roses out of focus

Mother on the edge of the nest

One new development is that the male is now around. We only saw one bird during the nest building and incubation period. We concluded the male was not involved. However he now brings food. As one bird leaves the other one arrives, so we know both parents are now involved.


  1. It's a little miracle isn't it. I've been treated to a couple of finch and wren nestings. First they are so busy, busy, important, important building the nest, then silence, then, what noise hungry little birds make. I did not realize they sleep with their beaks open. That even improves my enjoyment.

  2. Beautiful little things. At least it seems to be quite shady where they are.
    Lets hope that they continue to thrive.

  3. Lovely to have a front row seat!

  4. I love that the babies sleep with their beaks open. Great picture of the little guy. I'm amazed you could even get close enough to take pictures.

    1. You cannot walk by without being about a foot away from the nest. She is very brave (or more probably it is in her genes) because she does not move from that nest when you go right by her.


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