Sparrowy Triumph

Over the winter, I didn’t see many house sparrows on my feeder, which was strange, as I still saw them round the neighbourhood. (I imagine we have some year-round populations, here, and some that prefer to migrate, and it’s a migratory flock that’s laid claim to my balcony.) At any rate, over the last couple of weeks, they’ve been trickling back in, one here, two there; another couple later on, with a finch tagging along. And today, traffic was brisker than ever: at one point, I had five little diners, feasting at once.

There was almost a house sparrow / song sparrow altercation, I think. Both birds spread their wings and puffed out their chests, and I thought they might go for each other, but their interest in food exceeded their interest in fighting, and they abandoned their displays. I hope the food continues to keep the house sparrows busy: last year, they pecked any song sparrow that crept into their midst, and the finches, as well. I suppose I shouldn’t be entirely down on their aggression, though. Since the sparrows have been back, gull visits have been down, though not eliminated. I don’t think the gulls like it, when a flock of sparrows settles around their feet. Perhaps, as spring ripens and sparrows proliferate, the gulls will be chased off, entirely. (One can dream!)

I also have a snippet of exciting and disappointing news, from my morning walk: I saw a new bird! (That’s the exciting bit.) But it scurried across my path and vanished into the underbrush, before I could get a good look. (Disappointing.) It was tiny and blue, or possibly grey, with a sharp beak and a stubby tail. It wasn’t a bushtit, though. It was too light, and the wrong shape, and it had white bits, and…well, I didn’t catch more detail than that, before it was gone. But now, I know it’s out there. I’ll find it, again.

Meanwhile, some balcony bird shots:

This sparrow is standing on a patch of bird lime, left early this morning by one of three hungry gulls.  THREE!  Really, there are limits!

This sparrow is standing on a patch of bird lime, left early this morning by one of three hungry gulls. THREE! Really, there are limits!

No, sparrow; those are not eggs.

No, sparrow; those are not eggs.

The pigeons, it seems, are not going away.  Such gluttons!  This pigeon sat in my feeder and ate and ate, till its crop was bulging, and it could hardly take off.  Again, THERE ARE LIMITS!  You think that lunch was free, pigeon?  I had to pay for that!

The pigeons, it seems, are not going away. Such gluttons! This pigeon sat in my feeder and ate and ate, till its crop was bulging, and it could hardly take off. Again, THERE ARE LIMITS! You think that lunch was free, pigeon? I had to pay for that!

They're ba-ack!  (In your face, crotchety old man from yesterday.)

They’re ba-ack! (In your face, crotchety old man from yesterday.)

A starling surveys the courtyard.  Somehow, although there are plenty of starlings in the area, they've yet to find my feeder.  And whenever I see them, on my walks, they're high in trees, or on top of buildings.  How shall I approach one?  I want a better shot.  Starlings, I know, are rubbish birds, but I like them.

A starling surveys the courtyard. Somehow, although there are plenty of starlings in the area, they’ve yet to find my feeder. And whenever I see them, on my walks, they’re high in trees, or on top of buildings. How shall I approach one? I want a better shot. Starlings, I know, are rubbish birds, but I like them.

Not a good shot, but something about the way this bird's craning its neck to look in the window struck me as funny.  (Little voyeur!)

Not a good shot, but something about the way this bird’s craning its neck to look in the window struck me as funny. (Little voyeur!)

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