Posts Tagged ‘house sparrows’

House sparrow. — Wikimedia photo

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.” — John Burroughs

Chirp, Chirp, Chirp

My home in Ogden, Utah, had a huge Rose of Sharon bush growing in front of my bedroom window that brought me much delight and pleasure. It grew wild and free, and I let it have its way. I loved that bush, and so did the house sparrows, which also gave me many hours of pleasure.

A female house sparrow. — Wikimedia photo

Until I began seriously watching birds, I had never really noticed these seemingly plain brown birds. At least that’s how I thought of them until I looked more closely and saw that the male, especially in breeding season, was actually quite eye-catching.

On a Jan. 31, 2001, morning, not too long after I became an addicted bird watcher, I watched one such male, and wrote: “I have a gorgeous male house sparrow perched in my Rose of Sharon bush right outside my window. It’s sitting in the sunlight so I can clearly see it in all its splendid colors, rust brown, white and black, a perfect copy of the house sparrow illustration in my bird guide, complete with the white dot next to its eye.”

My Rose of Sharon bush always bloomed profusely in spring, and the blossoms stayed around for a long time. I miss that bush — and its resident sparrows. — Wikimedia photo

On another day, I wrote: “My house sparrow is chirping outside my window. The morning light is still dull so his colors aren’t showing well. But having once seen him in the light, I can pick the colors out. He’s really chirping this morning. Maybe he’s trying to attract a female.”

And so he did. And for the next couple of years, I watched as that first pair of house sparrows to take up residence in my Rose of Sharon raised babies. And I watched one morning as another female flew in, and was then chased away by the resident female while the male just looked on from his perch. And from that time forward, my morning wake-up call was always a chirp, chirp, chirp, which is about all these sparrows ever say.

House sparrows are one of about 25 sparrow species world-wide. They thrive near human populations, and love to forage just about everywhere on the planet where humans drop crumbs, from service stations to picnic grounds. I’ve seen them in Japan and Africa looking just like they did in my Rose of Sharon bush.

I’m sure if you look around you, wherever you live, you will find one, too.

            Bean Pat: Meditate Your Way http://tinyurl.com/n62noxy For all of us who find it impossible to sit still and control our minds. Bird watching works for me.

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St. Francis, patron saint of animals, was being honored by sparrows until I frightened them away. -- Photo by Pat Bean

All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.” — Samuel Butler

Travels With Maggie

Boston has a lot of statues, the most notable probably being the one of George Washington in Boston Commons. My favorite is much less majestic. It’s the weather-worn statue of St. Francis tucked away in a small downtown walkway between streets.

St. Francis, a 12th century Catholic friar, is best known as the patron saint of animals. It was this knowledge that drew my attention during a walking tour of Boston (yesterday’s blog). In fact, I might not even have seen the statue if it hadn’t been for the house sparrows perched on the unobtrusive sculpture with its back up against a brick building.

Being an avid birder, I never miss seeing birds.

I grabbed for by camera, not wanting to miss such an appropriate photo of birds paying homage to the patron saint of animals. Big mistake. My movement scared all the birds away. The sole one remaining was the one the sculpture had created to sit on St. Francis’ shoulder.

The George Washington statue in Boston Commons. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I snapped the picture anyway. Later, where comparing St. Francis to the photo I had taken of George Washington sitting proudly astride his horse in the city’s public gardens, I saw the extreme disparity between the two.

Now while I respect our country’s first president and approve of his prominent position on a pedestal in Boston’s most popular park, the modest image of St. Francis, who loved animals, touched my heart. And that’s why it’s my favorite Boston statue.

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