12 June, 2010

Compassion is for the Birds

We have a cockatoo in our family.  His cage is out the back, and it’s a magnet for sparrows and other birds, hoping to get some dropped seeds from under the cage.  Harry, the cocky, doesn’t mind this at all.  He enjoys the company and will even call us when there are magpies outside who need feeding.

There are a few holes in the cage big enough for a sparrow to get in through.  Depending on the season, sometimes the whole group figures out how to get in, some manage to get in and forget how to get out, and sometimes only a select few manage to get in and help themselves to the seed tin.

One of the most touching things I ever saw was on one occasion when only one of the flock had managed to find his way into the cage, and all the others were hanging off the wire on the outside.  The sparrow on the inside took a seed for himself, then delivered one seed each to all the others on the outside before starting again.

It strikes me that this is one difference between sparrows and people.


  1. Most birds will willingly eat each other but it's still a good point.