Bird-Lore/Volume 01/No. 1/An Accomplished House Sparrow

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Bird-Lore: Volume I, No. 1
Notes from Field and Study: An Accomplished House Sparrow by John L. Royael

Notes from Field and Study

An Accomplished House Sparrow

In June, six or seven years ago, my daughters found in the courtyard of our home, a young House or English Sparrow who had evidently fallen from the nest, and had broken its leg in the fall. They took it in and cared for it, binding up the injured limb and feeding it as experience with other birds of the same family had taught them to do. Happily, the bird recovered, and in a short time became quite a pet of the household.

At that time we had two Canary Birds, both beautiful singers, and in almost constant song. The Sparrow was in the same room with them, and very soon (making use of its imitative power, which we have observed is a strong characteristic of the Sparrow) acquired the full and complete song of the Canaries. We followed with much pleasure the unfolding of his musical ability, which was gradual, and found that he had surpassed his teachers, producing melodies much richer and stronger, as all who had the pleasure of listening to him freely admitted.

The bird retained his song to the last, although as age came upon him, as with all other pet birds, his singing was less and less frequent till he passed away, some few months ago. Besides imitating the song of the Canary, he acquired the song of a bird in our collection known as the ‘Strawberry Finch,’ which he gave perfectly. His plumage was greatly improved by his confinement and the very great care given him, so much so, that one almost doubted his being an English Sparrow till convinced upon closer examination.

We have had a large experience with these birds; they become very affectionate with petting, and show a wonderful degree of intelligence.

I would further say that our Sparrow had all the notes common to the English Sparrow, beside his acquired accomplishments, and there was sadness in our home when his little life went out.—John L. Royael, Brooklyn, N. Y.