Many House Sparrows at Toronto Island /February 13, 2020

Constant snow made photography difficult on this -1 degree morning. Sony cameras are NOT waterproof.

If you have a bird feeder, you likely are very familiar with the House Sparrow. I have about 75 all winter. These birds are not native to North America but were introduced to Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1850 and arrived in Ontario in about 1870. It was much more abundant in the days of horse-drawn transportation than it is now, living on waste grain and droppings, but it is still one of the most abundant species near human habitations.

House Sparrows
House Sparrow (female)
House Sparrow (male)

Species list:  mute swan, Canada goose, mallard, bufflehead, common goldeneye, lesser scaup, white-winged scoter, long-tailed duck, common merganser, red-breasted merganser, ring-billed gull, downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, blue jay, American crow, black-capped chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, Carolina wren, house sparrow, northern cardinal, song sparrow.  (21 species)

Mute Swan
Blue Jay
White-breasted Nuthatch

Park scenes:

Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

This morning’s group:


Then welcome, cold, welcome, ye snowy nights!
Heaven midst your rage shall mingle pure delights.   – Robert Bloomfield (1766–1823)

Miles Hearn

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