Thursday, August 12, 2010

Song Sparrow: Interdependence

Song Sparrow lives nearly everywhere except in the deep woods. But She much prefers brushy areas and marshes to nest in. As a habitat generalist, Song Sparrow eats mostly Insects and seeds, any place that She finds Herself. Since She can be elusive at times, most people do not know that Song Sparrow is probably living near them. They will probably see Song Sparrow hopping across their lawns from time to time.

“Song Sparrow” actually refers to a species complex from twenty-four to fifty-two sub-species. These sub-species are grouped according to their location – Eastern North America, Northwest North America, Cismontane California, Southwestern United States, and Mexican Plateau. They differ by the streaks on their bodies, and their shades of brown.

This small streaked brownish Bird can easily be overlooked by people, since Song Sparrow blends in easily into the background. For example, fond of water, She bathes using the drops of water found on people’s lawns. First, She strikes a grass blade with her wings, and then throws the water on her feathers. Inconspicuous in what She does, Song Sparrow is often missed being seen by people as She bathes.

Learning various songs from her Neighbors, Song Sparrow uses their “dialect” to communicate with Them. In her songs She tells her Neighbors what She is doing. Her complex songs of trills and clear notes inform the others about what is going on. With songs in common, Song Sparrow and her Neighbors build a community.

Looking out for her Friends, Song Sparrow will inform Them when a predator is near. She will point and call at Cat. Sounding her alarm call, Song Sparrow continues to follow Cat, calling and pointing. Her Friends appreciate her efforts, and will call and point at Cat as well.

In her flock, Song Sparrow looks out for her Friends. They do the same for Her as well. She and They are both dependent and dependable. Learn the art of interdependence from Song Sparrow. Watch out for your friends, as they do for you.

Science Notes:

1. Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) of the Emberizidae is not a relative of Old World Sparrows, who are the Passeridae.

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