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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

House Sparrow

House Sparrow (Image ID 46525)
Photographed byMichael Hamel-Green on Mon 31st May, 2021 and uploaded on Tue 1st Jun, 2021 .
Resolution1800x1146
Viewed32
ID46525
CommentIn the middle (or perhaps only just the beginning) of our new Covid lockdown (Series 1, Episode 4), Victorian birders are a little like tethered goats. We are tied to searching out birdlife within a 5km radius of our homes for no more than a couple of hours a day. All masked up but with little or nowhere to go. But familiarity should not breed contempt. The common birds close to where many of us live can still inspire us. Here are a pair of House Sparrows discovered on the rocks at Royal Park Wetlands. Like felines and canines, Passer Domesticus have long made with peace with the human species, coming to live side by side with us whether it is in cities or the bush, at least here in Australia after they were first released from the 1860s onwards. They are such lively, chirpy and resilient beings, just the kind of birdlife to raise our spirits. The female on the left is devouring a grass seed she found nearby while the male on the right is keeping his eyes and ears on others in the sparrow group that has made their home here. After a short while, the flock took off for peckings and pickings further afield. The male has his striking brown nape, grey cap, and black bib, while the female has her familiar streaked brown plumage. Sparrows form permanent pair bonds but generally seem to fossick and forage in groups, presumably for greater protection, or for the benefits of being able to liaise with each other on where best to find food. Bees do a “wiggle dance” to tell others in the hive where to find the best nectar. Sparrows, for their part, keep up a constant chatter of chirrups to let each other know where the grass is greener. Apparently, some of the sparrows who frequent city venues have even learnt how to activate automatic doors so they can dine at the table with us. Whiskies at the bar, sparrows on the rocks.
EquipmentNikon Z7ii, Nikon 300mm PF f4, TC1.4, focal length 420mm
ISO 800
1/2000th f6.3
LocationRoyal Park Wetlands, Parkville, Victoria
Keywordsmale, female, feeding/with prey, adult
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