House sparrows vs Superb Blue-wren

To: Canberra birds <>
Subject: House sparrows vs Superb Blue-wren
From: John Layton <>
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2019 07:03:11 +0000

Pink petals lay scattered on the grass surrounding our flowering plum trees and , as I stood at a window contemplating the floral mosaic, a male Superb Fairy-wren popped out of a grevillea and came bouncing along like a plumaged ping pong ball, picked up a petal and went yo-yoing back to the grevillea. A moment later he returned, perhaps the object of his affection had rejected the floral offering or, knowing these cavalier little roosters, he was probably playing the field.


Suddenly three male House Sparrows landed near the wren and assumed threat displays, heads thrust forward with wings held slightly out from body. The sparrow nearest the wren appeared to be the dominant bird judging by his large black chest patch and cogent display. The wren immediately retreated while the boss sparrow turned and vented agonistic wrath at his cohorts putting them to flight. He then picked up a petal moving it to and fro in his bill before dropping it. Two more were examined and rejected before he flew away.


Perhaps the wren’s activities suggested a possible food source that the sparrows intended to commandeer but were thwarted.


John Layton


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