Reference my earlier post about An Experiment with Non-Native Rudgeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ in which I stated that have only once seen birds picking at the seed offered by this non-native. Well, earlier this week I had a second sighting. A small flock of about 10-12 House Sparrows were frantically picking at the seedheads of the Goldsturm following our first big snowstorm of the season. I understand from my Wild Ones friend Janet Wissink, who is President of the Winnebago Audubon Society, that “snow will make the birds look a little higher for seed instead of just feeding on the ground.”
House Sparrows are originally from the Middle East and and parts of North Africa, but along with the growth of agriculture, they have spread to Eurasia and North America. They are considered pests by many people, because they present some problems from being noisy to being messy. They also compete with our native birds for food, shelter and nesting sites. See What to do about house sparrows.
We can control some of the problems they present by controlling the habitat we provide, which in this case, appears to be non-native Rudbeckia.
So forgive me for misspeaking earlier. I’ll continue to keep watch to see if there any more visitors.