BruceH's picture

Come on girls, let's bath!

Observed: 7th September 2013 By: BruceHBruceH’s reputation in BirdsBruceH’s reputation in BirdsBruceH’s reputation in Birds
House Sparrow
House Sparrow
House Sparrow
Description:

A group of female house sparrows enjoying a bath in my garden. Do females always bath together - or maybe males just do not bath??

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) interacts

Comments

ophrys's picture

Sex

In the second picture, the right hand bird and the second from left (top one) are males.

Ian
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/52163027@N02/

Ray Turner's picture

Apologies

Sorry Ian, I was elaborating on your comment which I now see you have done yourself.

Ray

Ray

ophrys's picture

Elaborating

Thanks, Ray...for some odd reason I only looked at the 3rd picture, first time, so I then changed my comment!

Ian
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My Flickr photos...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52163027@N02/

Ray Turner's picture

Males

In picture two; bird on the far right and middle bird of the three forming the back row are males as ophrys points out. The grey of the crown distinguishes the males from the females in winter plumage, also there are traces of the chestnut sides still.

Ray

Ray

BruceH's picture

Thanks for this helpful

Thanks for this helpful description. I was looking for dark bibs to identify the males. Is it early for these birds to be in winter plumage?

I unreservedly withdraw my implication that males may be less hygienic!

Bruce

ophrys's picture

Moult

The problem of sexing them is made harder because they are all moulting. If you look at their tails, they are short and have feathers growing still. Juveniles are hard to sex, all looking like females, until they have completed their full post-juvenile moult. As they are wet, it's not easy to be sure what age these are, but I suspect that most are juveniles going in to their first winter plumage (and so the males' plumage is not fully grown through yet).

Ian
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My Flickr photos...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52163027@N02/

BruceH's picture

Thanks so much Ian for this

Thanks so much Ian for this very helpful information.