"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Sparrows Rebuilding.. Optimism over Experience

   on ledgebg

I realised yesterday I had not really put the sparrows in context. Here they are sitting on the ledge of their rather grand home. I made this sketch at about 9.30  am yesterday and then decided it might be nice to show the rebuilding progress ( if any) during the day… mercifully for the sparrows the day was calm.

 nest 1

I don’t think I have ever really watched sparrows building a nest before. They are very funny. At 10.00 am they had a good start. Labour is divided. The male bounces in and out of the nest with twigs and grasses and the female does the building.. or rather some rudimentary weaving. There is a lot of jostling.

 det1

The little female repeatedly pulls at the long outlying twiggy grasses, drawing them into the centre of the nest One particularly stubborn twig constantly resisted, springing back, again and again into its original position. It must have been very irritating!

nest 2

By 12.00, noon, things were shaping up, the nest a-twitch with building activity.  At one point the female leant so far over to grab a trailing twig that she lost her balance and tumbled out. No big deal for a bird I guess!

det2

The male was back and forth and back and forth with more building materials.Occasionally I saw him fly off to a nearby tree and shout at another male. I think sparrows are quite territorial and there is a replica nest in exactly the same spot in the next set of pillars down.

We went out in the afternoon, and by 5.30 the sun had moved away from the building and all was in shadow. The nest had become a towering, uncertain structure. The main trouble seems to be the long trailing  bits of dead grass or creeper of some sort, which catch the wind and tug at the nest and, if the wind is strong enough, unseat the whole thing.

nest3

But, I have just checked this morning  and at 8.30am on a tranquil sunny morning the nest is a calm and fairly orderly heap of twigs and grass, trailing strands swaying gently with the light breeze. I wonder how long it will last?

I think I am going to do a painting of this wonderful nest as a tribute to their hard work and perseverance.

5 comments:

Sylvana said...

I have an oriole male that is very insistent upon building a nest in our large maple tree, although since the first female he managed to sway to build (about 4 years ago) he has yet to convince another. They just don't like the site for whatever reason. He, on the other hand, LOVES it and almost risks not nesting at all due to his stubbornness to nest there. Who knows what a bird sees in a certain site, but it seems once they find the perfect spot, they seem to have trouble seeing anything promising in another.

Jill said...

What a wonderful series of sketches - love them.

Alex Louisa said...

I love this series of sketches! Such a great idea :)

greenman said...

Great idea for a painting!
A nest construction is very funny to watch...

C said...

When I was a kid, flocks of sparrows would chase each other noisily between the houses, across my path to school; now I rarely see one. They're such brave, feisty little birds - your Him & Her pics are charming!