Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
The above is one of my favorite bible verses.
The very poorest people of that day couldn’t afford sheep or goats for religious sacrifices, so they bought sparrows. Sparrows were sold two for a penny. That means one of them was tossed in for free. That sparrow had actually no value whatsoever. But I value the sparrows in my yard. They are among my favorite birds.
I was on the front porch last night, just before dusk, and saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was a female song sparrow looking for one final seed before she called it a day. We have a feeder on the front porch, and though the sparrows seldom, fly up and feed, they eagerly glean those displaced seeds on the ground.
I watched as the small songbird approached. She would be on one twig and then, in an instant, she was on another one. I don’t know how she moved so fast, but I couldn’t see her in flight or in transition. It was like she just “materialized”. I watched her feed up till dark and then she flew away.
I have a couple small flocks of sparrows that hang around throughout the year. I enjoy feeding and watching them.
There are actually 4 different types of sparrows that reside in Virginia, even though one, the house sparrow, is not a true sparrow but rather a member of the Weaver Finch family. House sparrows were imported from Europe to Central Park in 1850, but have not spread across the United States. They are very aggressive little birds and compete with bluebirds for available tree cavities for nesting.
The most common sparrow in our yard is the song sparrow. They generally hang out in pairs, not flocks. The house sparrow is more of a flocking bird. There are also Chipping sparrows and White-throated sparrows. I have seen a few White-throated sparrows in the yard, but don’t recall seeing any chipping sparrows. They can be identified as having a plain, gray breast.
Sparrows will occasionally fly to a feeder, but had rather scratch for their food – like a chicken – on the ground. I always scatter seeds on the ground for the sparrows. They relish millet seeds. In the evenings, I enjoy listening for the sparrows calling and chirping back and forth, revealing to one another where they have bedded down for the evening. To me, a sparrow is a most worthy bird to have around.