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Monday, October 05, 2009

Book Review: Sparrows

Title: Sparrows
Authors: Hans Post, Kees Heij
Illustrator: Irene Goede
Publisher: Lemniscaat, a derivative of Boyds Mills Press

This book details the natural history and seasonl life cycle of the House Sparrow, Passer domesticus, in its native home – Europe. These little brown birds live in the countryside, in backyards, near fields, meadows, and woodlands in Great Britian, Europe, and now North America. The delightful illustrations show house sparrows at courtship, building nests, lay eggs, raising young, finding food and avoiding predators. All of these wondrous events take place right under our noses; that’s because House Sparrows have become so close to humans. Anywhere people are, they are, too. This is a great read along book for early readers. The accompanying illustrations enhance comprehension of the written material.
This book is ideal for pre-school - 3rd grad readers.
In fact, these LBJs (little brown jobs - a common nick-name for commonly seen little brown birds) are now more common here in the United States and Canada than they are in their native land.

Sparrows can be spotted in parking lots, near restaurant & grocery store dumsters, and sidewalk cafes. They have built a good livelihood eating crumbs and other light discarded food items. They are also often spotted near shrubs and bushes like the one above. Learn more about House Sparrows at my previous post: Urban Wildlife Watch: House Sparrows.

While I was in Europe I didn’t notice many and I was unable to get a shot of one. In fact, some of my science friends in Europe say the species is in trouble. We certainly have enough here to send them some to re-establish the species in their native land. Birds I saw in Europe but failed to photograph included Jackdaws and Magpies. Interestingly, the birds I was able to photograph were species that now call the Americas home - Pesky birds. So much for me trying to share something new with you all.

Jackdaws. image credit: Dragon Ridge - pest control website

Magpie. image credit - wikimedia


Bob O'H said...

It's odd, isn't it? When I was in New York, the most common birds I saw were European invasives. They made me feel at home.

(P.S. Jack Dawes -> jackdaws)

DNLee said...

thanks Bob! I'll correct it.

Roberta said...

I had heard that house sparrows are in decline. Thanks for the heads up on this book, my bird-crazy kid will love it.:-)

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