Even in the dead of winter, things can get pretty lively around a bird feeder. It’s a meeting place for cardinals, blue jays, nuthatches and those “little brown birds”… the sparrow.
Sparrows are basically brown, but different kinds of sparrows have rather colorful markings. For instance, the white-throated sparrow sports yellow eyebrows. A close relative, the white-crowned sparrow, shows off what appears to be a white mohawk haircut. A reddish cap with a small black spot adorns the breast of the American tree sparrow.
The bird we most often refer to as a sparrow is the house, or English sparrow. House sparrows came from Europe more than 100 years ago, and have thrived on farms and in urban areas.
Sparrows are easily attracted to your backyard. And they even eat cheap! Sparrows actually prefer the lower-priced bird seed. White millet spread on the ground, close to a shrub or bush, is perfect! It’s sure to welcome in those “little brown birds,” bringing activity to your bird feeder and life to the dead of winter!
Learn more about all sparrow species in the MDC Field Guide.