The bugs of the week – RVAHub


Where spotted: Bryan Park
Common name: Familiar sparrow
Scientific name: Spizella passerina
Length: 4.7 to 5.9 inches (12 to 15 cm)
Weight: 0.4-0.6 ounces (11-16 g)
Wingspan: 8.3 inch (21cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Labs

  • The first naturalists had a gift for the description that you no longer see. In 1929, Edward Forbush called the Familiar Bunting “the little brown-haired retiree of the yard and the lawn, who comes from the farm gates to glean crumbs shaken from the tablecloth by frugal housewives.”
  • In much of the west, Familiar Sparrows disperse soon after breeding to move to areas with better food resources. It is not uncommon to see familiar buntings in the alpine tundra or along the roads in the open grasslands. This results in the common misconception that they have bred in these regions, when in reality they simply moved there to molt.
  • Familiar buntings usually build their nests low in a shrub or tree, but every now and then they get creative. People found their nests among hanging sprigs of chili peppers, on an old-fashioned mower inside a tool shed, and on a hanging basket filled with moss.
  • The Nest of the Familiar Sparrow is so fragile that you can see light in it. It probably provides little insulation for the eggs and the young.
  • The oldest recorded House Sparrow was at least 10 years and 11 months old when recaptured and released during banding operations in Ontario in 1998. It had been banded in the same province in 1987.

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Sylvia at the Richmond SPCA

Are you looking for a fun, friendly and lovable family member? My name is Sylvia and I am the girl for you! I’m pretty lonely here on my own, just waiting for someone special to come. Won’t you take me home today?

Age: 6 months
Kind: Sterilized female
Color: White brown
IDENTIFIER: 49034267

Adopt Sylvia at the Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.


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