Song Birds - Sounds Wild
Chirping Sparrow


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Chirping sparrow

On a beautiful spring day, the forest is alive with the sounds of birds. A small brown sparrow flits through the trees and darts into a bush. It's a chipping sparrow, and inside the shelter of this shrub is a bundle of grass and thread-like rootlets, woven into a little cup-shaped nest. At the bottom, four speckled, bluish-green eggs laid on a bed of hair.

Most sparrows will line their nests with hair, fur or feathers, depending on what's available. The chipping sparrow is particularly fond of hair, and in some parts of the country it's called the hair bird. Horse hair is a favorite in horse country and where horse hair is abundant, these birds will build their nests with the long hairs from manes and tails, and then line them with shorter hairs and underfur, or hair from cattle.

Sparrows in Alaska will line their nests with dog hair, or hair from deer, moose, or caribou, whatever they can find. In the north tree sparrows, a common sparrow in Alaska, will use lemming fur. Porcupine fur - but not quills - can also be found lining the nests of Alaska sparrows. When no hair can be found, sparrows will line their nests with fine rootlets and soft grass, then supply some of their own feathers to make a soft bed for their eggs and their hatchlings.