Hello Mr. Chips

James A. Meier sent this picture of a chipping sparrow under his feeders at his home in Brighton, Mich., just north of Ann Arbor. I think it could be subtitled A Study in Brown:

James mentioned that the chipping sparrow’s range includes Minnesota and the Dakotas, so Wannabe Birder readers probably have seen one. As it happens, chipping sparrows are the only sparrows I’ve had at my feeders with any frequency this summer. They’ve been pushed away in recent days by a sudden influx of bigger birds — grackles, blue jays, starlings and red-winged blackbirds have been on a feeding frenzy. But a chipping sparrow still will make an occasional brave appearance.

James added this interesting note: "Years ago I had a pair nesting in a clematis climbing on a TV antenna. The nest was about chest high, intricately woven from weedy fibers. I have read that when there were more horses about they preferred horse hair for weaving their nests."

I think horse hair would make a comfy next.

Your pictures and stories about birds accepted joyously at: jlundy@duluthnews.com.

3 thoughts on “Hello Mr. Chips

  1. We had a pair of chipping sparrows nesting(this summer) in a highbush cranberry bush about 10 feet from our backdoor. They are gone now and I miss their cheerful “chip chip” calls.

  2. Ok now I know what kind of bird this is. We have been getting this bird in our backyard bird feeder in Moose Lake on and off all summer. It seems to be pretty much of a loner. Doesn’t bother with the other birds. In fact polite to other birds that come to the feeder, the sparrow will just fly to a tree branch and wait, and fly back to the feeder when others are finished. Its a pretty bird with delicate movements. A pleasure to see at the feeders.

  3. Sounds just like “my” chipping sparrow, Georgia. Another thing, it will come and feed while I’m sitting on the deck reading. It’s wary of me, but it will eat millet just two or three feet away from me.

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