Sparrows widespread in world

NATURAL WORLD

PAUL GAY
Last updated 08:47 25/03/2014
Sparrow
A house sparrow collects food for her young.

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The house sparrow is recorded as being the world's most widely distributed wild bird. It can be found on every continent except the coldest Arctic regions.

In fact, it seems that wherever humans appear they are soon joined by a group of sparrows.

This female sparrow was photographed on a table in an outdoor coffee lounge. As soon as the food was served the sparrows arrived. They showed no fear and were soon hopping about on within touching distance. Crumbs from a strawberry and white chocolate muffin were placed on a nearby table and soon attracted this bird. She went for the largest piece of muffin available and quickly flew off with it to a nearby tree where young sparrows were chirping loudly. Soon she was back for more.

House sparrows feed mainly on the seeds of weeds and grains but will try whatever food is available. Buds, berries, plant matter and almost any kind of scraps left by humans attract their attention.

Baby sparrows leave the nest at around 14 days and are fed by both parents for a further seven to 10 days. After that they become independent. They are described as survivors and in good conditions have a life expectancy of 10-14 years. Some exceed this with the oldest being recorded at 23 years.

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- The Southland Times

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