Sunday, January 10, 2016

House Sparrow ain't need no feet

At first - I thought this would make an interesting article somewhere. Something like, "House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), surviving despite limb impairment" ... After throwing up in my mouth a little bit, I wrote this post. 

Waaay back when things were green - I saw this House Sparrow at my parents place in Burlington. They had seen him around for quite some time. In the above photo, the posture isn't particularly unusual - especially among young (lazy) birds. 

I was unable to capture the exact sequence - but the bird was well enough to consider bathing. In the above image, he is ready for launch. Below - he has flapped his way across the entire birdbath - through the water - and ended up on the other side. 

Feeding didn't seem like much of an issue either. In the image below, he had flown up to the feeder and carefully flopped into the perching ring. 

Overall it was rather sad to see the loss of function - but also uplifting to see him go about his daily activities without too much difficulty. 


  1. An interesting observation. I know of a Mourning Dove that was photographed briefly about a year ago that had lost both of its feet, presumably to severe frost, and was sitting on a post with only stumps for feet. It is hard to say how long these creatures can survive, but they do their best!

  2. Interesting you should post this. We currently have a White-throated Sparrow visiting our feeders daily, since back in October. Seems to have little or no use of its entire left leg. He plunks down in the feeder the same as the sparrow in your pic. Seems to be hanging in there though!