Why is it that we don't always fully appreciate the birds that regularly visit our gardens? We seem to be always on the look out for a new visitor and write off lots of our garden birds as just boring little brown birds. Many people may even think that all little brown birds are the same species.
Well look again! When the sun is on their backs our little brown birds are not in the least bit boring. I took this photo of a male house sparrow on one of our feeders. Before you ask - he didn't turn around at the last minute - I wanted a photo of his back. The colours and patterns on his feathers were anything but boring!
Sparrows live in flocks which is maybe why they are overlooked as people may just see the flock and not the individual birds. If you look closely a an individual though you may spot subtle differences for instance the size of the male sparrow's dark bib varies. The larger the bib the more dominant the bird is - so basically the head of the flock has the largest bib.
At the start of this post I asked why we overlooked birds that regularly visit our gardens. Although we have house sparrows in our garden I know that in many places house sparrows have disappeared. They are now on the RSPB red list which means their numbers have fallen drastically. For a while we didn't see many sparrows in our garden but thankfully this situation has improved. Maybe this is one reason that we now appreciate them more!
If you want to read more about house sparrows and see more photos I have a page on my website here