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Birds in the garden - Page 20 - Carers UK Forum

Birds in the garden

Socialise and chat about other areas of your life
553 posts
Sparrers are more colourful and cheeky: dunnocks skulk in the hedgerows and are very drab. You need to look at behaviour too.
The tits and the finches are the most fun things to have in the garden: they are both great acrobats, but they are quite varied and have lots of different variations, it takes close observation to tell which is which and its easy to get it wrong (as you can see, juveniles and females can be very different, so can time of year).
A lot depends on what food you put out: finches will not bother to come for peanuts, they love seeds like sunflower and niger seeds.
You can say that again. My sparrows/dunnocks are very drab, boring even, but whatever they are, they do not sulk in hedgerows. They don't even seem to like hedgerows. But love my lawn, and sunflower seeds. I get through 2-3 packets of sunflower seeds myself (yum, yum, YUM!)

Maybe I've got sparnocks or dunnrows?

Can they inter-breed?

Maybe I'm a sparnock?

David C, do you have a picture of a sparnock?
currently have a few starlings munching on my windowsill...and wood pigeons nesting in the tree. Nice to see Madelcass, Sajehar. I was hopeless when I first got back to GB on ID - I was so used to the Illawarra birds that i knew so well - that seeing all these different species confused me. I still get a few muddles....
No, sparrows and dunnocks dont interbreed - they just look pretty similar.
Dunnocks have a thin beak, like a robin and they mostly eat insects (though this time of the year they go for seeds with a high oil content like sunflowers) whereas sparrows have a wide beak because they eat seeds all year round.
Sparrows are much more brown underneath and have brown faces where dunnocks are grey and the male house sparrow has a very definite grey cap and a black bib. This is a picture of a male

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No, sparrows and dunnocks dont interbreed - they just look pretty similar.
Dunnocks have a thin beak, like a robin and they mostly eat insects (though this time of the year they go for seeds with a high oil content like sunflowers) whereas sparrows have a wide beak because they eat seeds all year round.
Sparrows are much more brown underneath and have brown faces where dunnocks are grey and the male house sparrow has a very definite grey cap and a black bib. This is a picture of a male
crocus ,you took the words right out of my mouth Image .
sajehar,you are a bird watcher /photographer Image .
the best way to describe a twitcher is ,have you seen the film carry on cowboy?,the scene where charles hawtrey goes in to the saloon and yells gold strike at bear creek ?
well if you swap the saloon for a cafe near a birdwatching hotspot ,and charles hawtrey for someone yelling yellow bellied sap sucker ,you will get an idea how twitchers behave Image
by the way there is a bird called a yellow bellied sap sucker Image
must get bird book. never realised female blackbird was brown. city girl you see.
re the yellow bellied sap sucker ,it's a woodpecker and a very rare visitor to britain from north america.
^Juvenile blackbirds are brown too, though i am not certain for exactly how long as our mob have so many batches i get lost as to which are the latest and which the almost-adults!!!! Our back yard seems to be ideal breeding round for the blackbirds and we had at least 3 batches last season...
The best bird book I have is the RSPB handbook of British birds, it isnt too expensive at £10 and its small enough to put in your pocket. I use a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ20: you can buy one for £120 new. A pair of binoculars and a decent camera with a zoom lens are essential. Birds are by definition a bit flighty, so I usually shoot first and ask questions later using the picture! For example today I was too far away to tell the difference between the goosanders and the tufted ducks (see the other birds thread) but it was very obvious when I uploaded the pics onto the computer. I take lots of shots because some are always blurred and that way you can get all the details you need: it isn't easy to spot the difference between Bean, Pink-footed, and Greylag geese for example unless you get a good pic of their beaks: the greylags are broader-beaked but otherwise almost identical.
Ive got the British Trust for Ornithology pocket guide, which is pretty comparable and also an old second-hand Collins Gem Guide that I picked up for 99p and is teeny, but has lovely colour pictures. Between the two I can usually work out what the bird is and Ive got the ones that come into my garden pretty much nailed. Im now starting to learn the ones at our local wetlands and estuary. I agree, binoculars are essential. Ive got a pair of lightweight ones that were not too expensive - you need them to see the detail. I dont have a camera that can take photos of birds though.
Im not a twitcher either - just a birdwatcher.
553 posts