On Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 8:51:32 AM UTC-6, Dave Leatherman wrote: > > Here are some random thoughts regarding the House Sparrow discussion: > > 1) Birders care about, and are interested in, all birds. > > 2) House Sparrows are unevenly distributed across the landscape, seasons > and time. > > 3) Being somewhat "colonial" they succumb to disease and predation issues > typical of species that occur in numbers in one place and time. > > 4) eBird can be used for more than a source of intel on how to home in on > rare species. > > 5) Birders, at least a subset of us, can't resist sliding down the > slippery slope of statistics. > > 6) House Sparrows are named for a reason and much of the time prefer...... > areas with human houses (*Passer domesticus*). > > 7) When cost and safety (5-10 years from now?) preclude birder travel to > exotic places like Kenya, Costa Rica, and Cottonwood Canyon, we can still > be entertained, learn new things and observe/photograph beauty in our > backyards and personal patches of open space or "wild" habitat. > > > Perhaps the most interesting thing I've ever read about House Sparrows is > their penchant for bringing still smoldering cigarette butts to their nests > as a source of smoke to reduce nest ectoparasites of threat to the birds > and their young. Because they often build their nests within the outer and > inner walls of human structures, this leads to them being a major culprit > in the starting of structural fires (*P. domesticus *subsp. *pyromaniacus*?). > > This was reported from metro areas in the East, and I have not heard of it > being observed in Colorado. Maybe birders who know urban fire fighters can > ask if this has been suspected locally. > > > Last Friday my planned trip to the retirement event of a friend in Salida > was stopped still in its tracks by an accident on I-25 near DU. One > quarter of the way to my destination after a lapse of half the time > allotted, I made eggnog out of broken eggs, ate the 2-2-2 breakfast at > Village Inn (over easy with bacon) and went to the Denver Zoo for the day. > Living in a bush mostly within the Steller's Sea-Eagle enclosure is a > little group of House Sparrows which seemed like an interesting > association, especially right below the sign that said, "Watch Out For > Eagle Poop". And I realized for the umpteenth time how handsome the males > of this Old World species really are. > > > > > > Dave Leatherman > > Fort Collins > > > Hi Dave,
You're final comment about handsome HOSP reminded me of when I, as a neophyte birder, was out wandering in the cardon cactus near Kino Bay. I had spent probably a good hour observing and drawing a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and was still not being totally sure of my ID, and then I stumbled across this incredibly "handsome," Sonoran Desert-residing, sparrow. I thumbed frantically through my Peterson's Field Guide to Western Birds, and the distinctively-marked sparrow right in front of me was NOT in there!! All was eventually resolved, but it took me awhile. Part of my take-away learning experience was that HOSPs hanging out in the alleys of our urban environments are not always as brilliantly plumaged as this breeding season male I encountered in the Sonoran Desert. May I share a bit more? Then, on my drive back to Prescott, I stopped along the Hassayampa River and was totally befuddled by a beautiful male warbler in breeding plumage. Turned out it was the same species I had been seeing all winter in Prescott, I just had no idea that an Audubon's Warbler could change that dramatically over a few weeks time. What a big learning curve I was on in those days! Best, Chuck Aid Evergreen, CO -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Colorado Birds" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to cobirds+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/cobirds/b57d2ea1-65e7-4e9a-8e6f-f2ead05828dc%40googlegroups.com. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.