Eurasian Tree Sparrows feeding in the rain

posted in: Feeding strategy, Feeding-plants | 1

There is a population of Eurasian Tree Sparrows (Passer montanus) in my garden ever since I started feeding a pair of Spotted Doves (Streptopelia chinensis) in July 2010 LINK. At least three times a day they would congregate outside my bedroom chirping loudly to make their presence felt. They are demanding to be fed.

And as soon as I scatter birdseed on the ground, they will fly down from wherever they are to feed. After feeding they move off to return later for their next feed. By 1830 hours they move off to roost somewhere else. And at around 0645 hours the next morning their noisy chirping announces their arrival for the morning feed.

During rainy days they are conspicuously absent, except when the rain is a light drizzle. Then only a few come, sheltering under the porch and below potted plants and chirping incessantly.

When I scatter birdseed on the ground, the sparrows will fly into the drizzle, take a seed between the mandibles, deftly “dehusk” it before swallowing. Invariably it will take another before flying back to shelter. After few seconds under shelter, it will fly back into the drizzle to feed again. The drizzle wets their feathers but they cannot resist the birdseed.

YC Wee
June 2011

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