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White-crowned sparrows bob and peep for food at PROWLS

White-crowned sparrows

SWEET PEEPS: Female white-crowned sparrows do all of the initial work: picking the nesting site, constructing the nest, and incubating the eggs for a period of 12 days. They will even help remove babies from their shells and consume the shell fragments.

The nests are built on or just above the ground, particularly if a previous nest was found by a predator.

Many of our native songbirds nest on or just above the ground, and they are particularly vulnerable to cats. A ground-level nest of two white-crowned nestling sparrows was recently discovered by a cat.

One was rescued from the cat’s jaws by the owner while the other took refuge under a sprinkler, calling for help at the top of its lungs.

Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society responded and soon these two were safe in a cage and very hungry.

Initially suspicious of being force-fed a diet of fresh mealworms, they quickly learned to gobble them up on their own.

What made these two nestlings particularly endearing was the way they begged for food, bouncing up and down while bobbing their heads and peeping with each bounce. It was a true chorus.

Hopefully the next nest won’t be discovered.