Please, do not hamper a young bird's life by picking it up, and taking it home with you. It is calling its parents to help them in locating it.
After fledgling from the nest, the parent birds will keep feeding it, and look out for it, until it will be able to look after itself.
And the reason you cannot see a parent is because of your own proxomity to the young bird. And while you are ebating if or not you should take the bird home, you keep the parent from giving it well needed nutrition in the form of a meal!


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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Update on my House Sparrow's Health (1)

Two perky House Sparrows, today in the garden:

Before sending my photo to Niall Hatch at BirdwatchIreland I posted my problem at folks at BGB orBritish Garden Birdsand see what my friends there would come up with.
Thing was, I had read about these scabs recently, when googling for a thread which I was reacting to. I even had told the poster of the thread to keep an eye on the Sparrows feeding on her patio because it was not only Chaffinches which were targeted by these scabs. Ironic, isn't it?
Anyway, my friends there relayed me to the BTO website on Avian Pox, which is what I had also googled for. The BTO's descriptions fit my poor Sparrow too.

The House Sparrow numbers had gone down to 14-16 recently, but as soon as I was writing my post on BGB telling of my measurements to hopefully keep feeding numbers (at any one time) down, 30+ birds descended onto the planter and my feeding trays.

Of course they had their own problems;feeding in these fresh and troublesome winds, posed huge problems for these small creatures, relying on flight. The Rooks too were having great trouble, not only staying 'afloat' but also in keeping direction. My biggest surprise was to see the Swallows up and about as if this was just any ordinary day. I cannot imagine though how hard it must have been to find food in the skies.
So perhaps this is one of those days in which Swallows in olden times resorted to Hawthorn berries to supplement their diet in order to gain that extra weight before heading off to South Africa?

Anyway, the best I can do to deal with this Avian pox, is for me to keep up the rigorous cleaning and sterilizing of the food trays each morning, as I have been doing for two weeks now. (I had not discovered the scabs around the eyes yet in that particular Sparrow, yet I had spotted one which rang this little alarm in the back of my mind. One which just needed careful observing, Just In Case something was wrong. I guess any birder who has had to deal with Trichomoniasis in his or her garden knows what I mean by this.

And although it was busy again, Sparrow style, I am still unable to tell if the little scab sparrow was among them. One 'wary' looking Sparrow was among them, most certainly, yet when I pointed the camera and the binoculars in its direction, I was looking straight into the Sun!
So hopefully I can spot it again tomorrow.
And here are some of yesterday's images as they flocked around their breakfast and later lunch and Tea. Clearly my efforts to diminish the Flock-Feeding were not met with approval, apparently:

And some of today's images,A Rook's arrival; just keep on feeding!And a Great Tit feeding on the Insects in the hollow Fennel stalks


  1. There's no lack of birds in your garden. The pictures are wonderful. Sorry to hear that the sparrow has Avian pox. Thankfully, I haven't seen a problem with any birds here. I don't know what I'd do if I did, I would be gutted for sure.

  2. belief me, crow, I was gutted at first too; Now I take it as it comes, taking care of extra clean feeding trays and surfaces. The birds themselves don't get much too eat, where I gutted for too long! They'd rather I make and dish up more and more peanutcake.
    There is no certainty if it is Avian Pox, but I did send a photo and email to Birdwatch yesterday.

    What is worse thuogh, is the anxiety when you have not seen your victim for awhile and you do not any signs in the other Sparrows. Then questions are entering your head: how many Sparrows are infected, What about my Chaffinches? Are these infected also? Was it just the One?
    And many more. And what about my Corvids?
    (last winter I discovered that Trichomoniasis could in some cases infect Crows & family in some cases too.
    Luckily, by then my Sparrows had gotten the green bill,but you do feel insecure for months longer.

    We will see what happens, Crow. I went out for a spin yesterday taking my mind off (see Wildlife--soon!--)


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