For the birds

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Finally picked up some wild bird seed today. Can’t afford to buy it too often, but we have nesting house sparrows again this year and I thought they would appreciate some easy access to food. The sparrows will nest in just about any type of bird house—I was surprised last year when they used one of those birdhouses the kids put together at Home Depot. (Let’s just say it was not the most perfectly constructed house and we only put it up on the fence to make the kids feel good.) But some sparrows used it anyway, stuffing the considerable gaps with grass insulation! We have some sparrows that have come back for several years in a row, sometimes even overwintering in the box, and they usually raise several batches throughout the spring and summer. We have even named one male who has come for years and likes to hang out on his front porch. Herman.

Right now we have lots of house sparrows, an occasional house finch, starlings once in a while, a scrub jay now and then, and ravens often overhead. A few months ago we had a handful of western bluebirds come check out the nestboxes, but they rejected them—either because they smelled like house sparrows, or the house sparrows scared them off. Oh well. I welcome them all.

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