One hot sparrow

I was very tempted to use the following title: “One hot bird”.


Seriously, that title might well have attracted the wrong crowd to this post.

Summer here in South Australia is only a few days away. We have already experienced a few hot days over 30c (86F) and the nights are very mild, not dropping below about 10c (50F). As a result we have not had to light our slow combustion fire for several months. Just as well.

A few days ago we heard terrible scrabbling noises coming from the chimney. Next thing a House Sparrow appeared in the fire box, so it was lucky for it that we didn’t have a fire roaring in there. We are quite puzzled as to how it managed to actually get in there. Now we had the problem of getting it out.

My dear wife had the easiest of solutions: open the sliding door three metres away, then open the door to the fireplace.

ZOOM. Like a speeding bullet that little bird raced towards the light, through the open door and out to freedom again.

Well done little bird.


2 Responses to “One hot sparrow”

  1. Wally D says:

    Speaking of sparrows, I saw the most extraordinary thing today while sitting on our upstairs patio which looks directly out onto a very large Silky Oak, in resplendent flower. The tree had a number of birds in it – Indian Mynas, sparrows, a very pretty little honeyeater (don’t know what its called), doves and a couple of large wattlebirds (not red – again not sure which ones). I heard a bird commotion – squawking, squawking, mostly mynas but also sparrows and saw one of the honeyeaters with a sparrow in its beak. It appeared to have the sparrow by the throat and I’m thinking the sparrow probably died. I shouted and banged the railing but of course, was ignored and couldn’t see where the wattlebird went but a number of feathers dropped to the ground. I watched for quite awhile longer – the sparrows and mynas all came back as eventually did the wattlebirds. Next thing I saw one of the wattlebirds take off again with something large in its beak but I couldn’t see what. AGain the other birds squawked and the sparrows all took off. The other wattlebird followed the first one and they didn’t come back for the remaining ten minutes I was there. The tree is quite dense with blossom and also leaves so its hard to see the birds if they are right in the centre of the tree. I have never seen anything like this happen before – I have seen magpies attacking each other and other birds but never a wattlebird, or any bird for that matter, with another bird in its beak. There might be young wattlebirds around that I haven’t seen so I’m presuming this might have something to do with it. Any explanation?

    • Trevor says:

      Hi Wally,
      Thanks for your account of your odd encounter with birds. How bizarre. I’ve never seen of heard of a wattlebird doing this. (By the way – if it wasn’t a Red Wattlebird it was probably a Little Wattlebird, unless you are in Tasmania where it could have been a Yellow Wattlebird.)

      While it is unusual behaviour it does not totally surprise me. Most wattlebirds I have encountered around nesting time are very aggressive towards all other species. In our garden we only have Red Wattlebirds and they love frequenting the bird baths. But beware any other birds coming in to bathe or drink – they are sent packing immediately, though the magpies, choughs and currawongs tend to hold their ground – but with a certain level of annoyance.

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