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THE MENAGERIE AT THE PORCH
SPARROWS

OUR FEATHERED ASSISTANTS

With all his love for his native place house sparrows sometimes embark on a long journey. So, Sparrow, ringed in Moscow, it is unknown why he went to Africa, where he was caught.

Another great courage is needed to fly to the shores of the Arctic ocean, but there were cases when the sparrows flew on the real wintering. The explorers were fed in the dining room. However, it does not follow that bird ready to live anywhere. Once on a cargo ship in the Magadan city brought several sparrows. Birds released into the wild. After flying a little above the city, sparrows did not find there anything interesting and returned to the familiar vessel. They patiently waited for the departure and decently behaved in the way. When the ship came to Find, they are rushing up into the air and disappeared from sight.

Almost everywhere Sparrow is resident. But from the most Northern regions it is sometimes migrate a thousand miles to the South. For example, in Yakutsk house sparrows have become migratory. From Central Asia, some species of sparrows migrate to winter in India. Cruising speed is 35 miles per hour - the same as a crow. But the crow flies somewhat lazy, makes 3-4 strokes per second, and Sparrow manages 13 times vigorously to raise and lower the wings.

Arkady Fiedler wrote that when in 1850 from Europe to America brought the first pair of sparrows, the Americans dumbfounded joy - now they became just like in good old England. In the "new York Herald" came a fiery welcome article. The birds were so holily and cherished, that after six months they died from overeating. "Society of the friends of the Sparrow" sent messengers to Europe, and they brought dozens of new pairs. Surrounded by caring, birds sprout immediately. Carpenters were making crazy money - sometimes on the same tree hung several wooden houses. Birds fed on the funds of municipalities, and the zeal of mayors in this field is largely determined by the number of votes.

Any extreme brings up to no good: on the tenth year of his triumphal procession across America millions of sparrows fell on fields, gardens and orchards. Fewer swallows - the sparrows took their nests. The former delight not gone. Chemical poisons, network, guns, everything was in the case. Sparrows almost fired from guns. The Americans were surprised that they had so adored these mahalov, who also can not sing?.. But here in the Boston area suddenly extremely multiplied harmful insects - they devoured everything. Hunger seemed inevitable. And then came to the rescue sparrows. Voracious caterpillars retreated. Glad the red SOx again love sparrows and put them to the monument in the city Park. However, excessive breeding these birds in America is now not allowed.

On the other side of the earth also wanted to exterminate all the sparrows. Zoologist Century B. Chekalin, who worked in the 1960's in China, told me that in Beijing and the coastal provinces, where sparrows were killed especially busily, along the way beating and all small birds. The column of trucks transported the bird tropici. The audience cheered. And what? The stalks of the rice didn't even have time to give the grain: the destruction of sparrows took the natural bends with insects, and they quickly multiplied. Especially a lot was some big grasshoppers. Their jaw was grinding all green. Trees and lawns were oblately. But in the provinces, where sparrows completely destroy haven't had time, the harvest was normal.

It should be said that a considerable part of the crop disappears and passerines stomachs. But it happens where birds too have multiplied. Once calculated that at the farm "George" in Kazakhstan they ate over the summer 400 tons of wheat. Some farms do not sow millet - birds can peck the entire crop. Harm sparrows and fields of sunflowers and vineyards.

But even worse, it turns out, when one and all sparrows declared outside the law. And is it in Austria, where they cause damage to sensitive vineyards, birds do not poison poisons, don't kill the gun. Sparrows there scare small aircraft, the sound of the engine which turns them into a stampede. Fun certainly not cheap. But probably worth the effort - sparrows should be on hand on the subject of sudden invasion of pests. Defended the same birds Moscow parks, twenty years ago when the city was flooded with butterfly moth - scary voracious pest. They crowded into the air, flew in the window of a trolley-buses, sat on the balcony. Sparrows did not disappoint - the silkworms were buried in their beaks.

If I was a garden I didn't ruin sparrows grain soaked in a solution of sodium arsenite, not watered least berries chemicals - these hardy birds will reward handsomely for his life saved. And if they really unbearable, to build a Scarecrow. Will dress him in blue rags: sparrows, as well as some other animals who don't like blue color. And on a normal Scarecrow they can relax, and beak to clean. Terrorized them and light blue boxes, hanging on the trees. Write that the more they are afraid of brilliant, sparkling stripes. In the agricultural publications says that small pieces of tin, strung on a rope (three or four pieces per meter of string) if protect a garden from unwanted visits. Afraid sparrows and networks, hung on trees.

...I believe that on Earth there are about a billion sparrows. Contrary to popular belief, some of that billion agree to live with the inner side of the housing walls. However, stay in the cage makes sparrows individualists - they don't want to use your wire housing counterparts. When birds calmly fly around the room, then perhaps something like training: young Sparrow, who lived in Moscow zoologist p. P. Smolin, gave him a tiny paw.

Sparrow is a strange bird. About it you can write and write. And here's the strange thing - in a school textbook of Zoology of the sparrows not a word was said, in the University course devoted to them just a few lines. What kind of favor?

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