Monday, August 15, 2011
"Even the Sparrow"
"Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young --
a place near you altar, Lord, Almighty, my King and my God."
When you hear the word, sparrow, what comes to mind? Do you think of the ubiquitous, city-dwelling, mess-making, House Sparrow? I thought so! Those birds are not actually sparrows at all. They are members of the weaver-finch family of birds, and were introduced into North America from Europe in the nineteenth century. True sparrows are members of the Emberizidae family, with more than thirty species present in North America. Most of these native North American sparrows, like the White-crowned Sparrow pictured here, are colorful, and quite handsome. Here in the Great Plains several sparrow species are summer residents. Another group of sparrows is present here only in the winter time. Many other species pass through here during migration. The sparrow migration in early October is one of my favorite times of the year! "Even the sparrow?" Indeed!