World Sparrow Day 20th March 2011

I have just received an email to say it’s  WORLD SPARROW DAY (20th March 2011).

Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

World Sparrow Day helps raise public awareness about the decline of the house sparrow and throw light on the problems faced by the species in its daily fight for survival.

Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

You can do your bit by making a note of the sparrows you see wherever you are in the world and submit the details on the Tree Sparrow sightings page.

Just note down the species and where exactly they were.

Happy bird spotting!


Chaffinch Eggs & Chaffinch Chicks

I have been sent this wonderful photo of a chaffinch nest with four chaffinch eggs inside.

Chaffinch Nest With Four Chaffinch Eggs

Chaffinch Nest With Four Chaffinch Eggs

The chaffinch nest is usually made from grass, moss and hair with an inner lining of feathers and hair, which you can see in the above photo. It is normally a round shape and can sometimes have an outer covering of moss added for camouflage. The nest is normally located in the fork of tree and shrub branches. You can see that the nest in the above photo is resting in some conifer branches.

The chaffinch eggs are a greyish-blue spotted which are laid from April to June.  The female will lay about 4-8 eggs and thenshe will generally incubate the eggs for 11-13 days.

Click on this link for more information about the Chaffinch.


Pigeon Egg Shell Turns Transparent

Many readers of the farmingfriends website often find pigeon eggs and try to incubate them. I have recently been asked about the shell becoming transparent on the pigeon egg.

Hi, I have recently been able to take care of pigeon eggs. I have kept them in a shoebox with a 100watt bulb and a hot water bottle. But, just a hour ago 1 of the eggs turned transparent on the sides suddenly and I am not sure what this means. I would really appreciate to hear your response soon. Hana

Hi Hana,

Thanks for your question. I hope that your pigeon eggs are still doing ok. Unfortunately I don’t know much about hatching pigeon eggs. I have read in this article http://www.internationalmodenaclub.com/Online%20Library/Articles/M-P/PigeonEggsPg1-6.pdf that if the shell is transparent then this is a sign that the embryo is dead in the shell. I do hope that this isn’t the case and that your egg hatch.

Good luck and let me know how you get on.
Kind regards

Sara @ farmingfriends

If you have experience of hatching pigeon eggs and know what it means when a pigeon egg shell turns transparent then please leave a comment.

Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this incubator or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.



White Pigeon Or A Dove

On Monday I noticed a white bird on my garden path and upon closer inspection I saw what looked like a white pigeon or dove. It’s legs had been cut on something but as I got closer it managed to fly up onto the barn roof.

It seems to be quite tame and I think when I first saw it, the bird had just injured itself. Later that day I saw if fly from our orchard acorss the neighbouring field and thought that this pretty bird had now found the stregth to resume it’s journey.

However the following day the bird had returned and was sitting on our garage roof so I was able to take this photo.

White pigeon or a dove

White pigeon or a dove

On and off this week I have seen this bird in various locations around the farmyard but I am still unsure whether it is a white pigeon or a dove, can anyone help?


Swallow Chicks Fledge

Last weekend there were five swallow chicks in  a swallows nest in the mill house. The parents had been busily flying in and out of the mill house to feed them.

Male And Female Swallows

Male And Female Swallows

Adult Swallow

Adult Swallow

On Saturday morning the chicks were resting on the roof truss in the mill house before they fledged over the weekend. All this week there has been alot of swallow activity with 7 swallows all flying around, resting on the roof of the barn or the electricity wires.
Have you seen swallow’s, their nest or chicks?

Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this book or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.


Swallow Chicks In Swallow Nest

Over the past month or so a couple of swallows have been flying in and out of the millhouse. I have been ducking my head as I enter just in case one of the adult swallows is in mid flight!

Swallow's Nest

Swallow's Nest

It took me a while to locate the nest they were making but eventually I saw the nest and then I have been waiting and waiting to see some little beaks peaking over the nest edge.

Yesterday I went into the millhouse and made some bird noises and then saw a couple of beaks appear at the rim of the nest.

Swallow Chick In Nest

Swallow Chick In Nest

I have tried to peer into the nest without disturbing the chicks and the adults feeding the chicks to see how many chicks there are . I think there are at least 3 but could be 4.

3 Swallow Chicks

3 Swallow Chicks

I tried to photograph the nest with the flash off but standing on tip toe doesn’t make for a great photo!

Have you seen a swallow’s nest or chicks?

Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this book or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.


The Claro Tree Sparrow Project

David at treesparrow.com has initiated a project in the Claro area of North Yorkshire to place 300 nest boxes for Tree Sparrows throughout the area. The project is very keen to hear from the farming and rural communities if they see Tree Sparrows on their land or in their gardens. 

Their website has plenty of helpful information about tree sparrows and a special page where you can submit a sighting using an easy online form.

Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

Your help would be very much appreciated, so please visit the treesparrows website to find out more about tree sparrows  and let them know about your sightings even if you live outside the Yorkshire area!


Sparrow Eggs Found

I received an email about founding sparrow eggs.

Hi, my dad found 11 sparrow eggs. We dont know how old they are. 5 were in one nest. 4 in the other and the last 2 in the third. there is no mom. Is there a possibilaty that they will hatch? If so, how do i keep them warm without an incubator? Lexi

Hi Lexi,

Thanks for visiting farmingfriends website and sending your email.I have read that sparrow eggs incubate for 12-14 days before hatching.You can keep the eggs warm by placing them in a box in the airing cupboard. You can create some humidity by placing a damp cloth inside the box but not on the eggs. If you don’t put the box in an airing cupboard then you could place a lamp over the box to get the heat from the bulb. The eggs also need to be turned 3/4 times a day. Make sure that the pointed end is facing down.

Hope this helps. Let me know how you get on.

Kind regards

Sara @ farmingfriends

If anyone has any advice about what to do when you find sparrow eggs then I would like to hear from you.


Tree Sparrows In Garden

We get alot of sparrows in our garden but I was unsure of the difference between the house sparrow and the tree sparrow.

Tree Sparrow At Feeder

Tree Sparrow At Feeder

One of my forum readers gave me this information:

Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

“Tree sparrows are smaller than house sparrows and have a completely brown head.” Campbell Ridge

Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

This helped me to identify the sparrows in my garden as tree sparrows. Do you have sparrows in your garden and are unsure whether they are tree sparrows or house sparrows?


What To Feed Pigeons

I do not keep pigeons myself but have read that pigeons need:

* Grain for energy, protein and fibre.
* Minerals grits, powdered minerals and trace elements.

Grains make up the bulk of a pigeon’s diet.Some grains are better than others. Dried field peas/beans make an excellent staple food. Peas are high in protein and promote strong muscles, bones and plumage. Probably the second favourite grain to a pigeon is corn. Corn is an excellent winter feed as it is readily stored in the pigeon’ body as fat.

If you are keeping as pets or for breeding or racing pigeons then you can put their feed into feeders for them to peck at.