Image: CopyrightHorseHints.org This spring Bill and I have been watching a pair of nesting mourning doves sharing the nest sitting responsibilities right outside our backyard balcony on the second story of our four story home. They settled down in one of the planter boxes hanging over the wrought iron balcony. There are two eggs in the nest and the male and female have been sharing the egg sitting responsibilities equally. It is an amazing thing to watch.

Image: CopyrightHorserHints.org Also, my husband and I noticed, today, March 27, 2016, a pair of house sparrows revitalizing a cardinal nest built last spring. It is in a crepe myrtle tree in front of our house. They are busily feathering the nest and adding twigs, etc. to soften the inside of this washed out, previously built cardinal nest. It is so much fun that I decided to research birds in our area. That is why I am posting this information.

Image: Copyright HorseHints.org The sparrows worked all day and it is now 5:54 PM EST. They have managed to build a highrise! Look closely at the picture to the left and you can see the female assessing all her hard work! I cannot wait to see if there are any eggs that hatch. Bill and I will be following this.

Mating Habits

"...The mating habits or courtship behavior of the House Sparrow can begin as early as January and continue through July. The males claim their nest sites and defend its immediate territory. There is no defined area outside the nest that the bird defends. The male chirps by the nest site trying to attract a female. When a female comes by, the male chirps louder and more quickly. Sometimes the male will follow the female a short distance and hop or wing quiver around her if she passes by him. Other males may join in trying to attract the same female. Mating occurs throughout the breeding cycle, (March through early August) near the nest site, and may occur several times during the day. Once the birds pair, nesting begins. These birds are monogamous, usually for life. Although lost mates are quickly replaced during the breeding season.

House Sparrows Nesting Habits

The nesting habits of House Sparrows plays a significate role in the birds life and activities. Since these birds use the nest nearly year around. In spring and summer the birds use the nest for raising young, up to four broods a season will be raised. In fall and winter it is used for resting in the day and roosting at night. The nest can be located in any available place in buildings, trees, and birdhouses near human habitation. The adaptability and the number of broods raised is what causes this birds numbers to multiply. The nest building is done almost year around. You are likely to notice most nest building activity in spring and fall. The main one is in spring just before breeding. Both the male and female build the nest. The nest is spherical in shape, 8 to 10 inches in outside diameter and is made of coarse material on the outside such as, straw, twigs, paper, leaves, grasses, and any other available material. The inside is lined with feathers or fine grasses.

The female begins laying eggs about a week after nest building begins. Typically 4 eggs are laid but some nest can have up to 7 eggs. The eggs are white to dull brown and speckled with brown. For the most part, incubation of the eggs is done by the female. Incubation last for about 12 days and the young leave the nest in 15 to 17 days after hatching. Both the male and female feed the young. After the young birds have fledged, the male continues feeding the fledglings while the female begins the next brood...." Wild Bird Watching

Common Feeder Birds is a list of almost 100 common feeder birds with pictures and complete information about each bird. Also, this link gives an immediate cross reference of what they like to eat and how/where they like to eat it. Explore your region to see what you might be able to attract to your feeder this winter! This is an excellent reference site.

For More Information:

Feeder Watch
First posted: Mar 27, 2016
Last update: Mar 27, 2016