King of the Pool House Roof

Unlike the UK where sparrows are sadly an increasingly rare sighting, here we live side-by-side with Spanish sparrows. In truth, I think we live in their territory not they in ours. The pool house roof [below] definitely belongs to them.They are relentlessly cheerful birds which, if you are not careful, you can bestow with human emotions:-the pool house roof 7-8-13Curiosity – when they look at you with their head tipped to one side;
Hunger – hopping towards you, hopping from one foot to another, watching you eat, waiting for tibits;
Anger – face-to-face shouting battles, Spanish style mano a mano [a bullfighting term which literally means one bullfighter against the other] on the roof of our little pool house;
Protection of home – patrolling roof of said pool house where nests are hidden in the tiles;
Domination – keeping watch at the pinnacle of the pool house roof, chattering loudly at challengers;
Sexual flirtation and predation – males hopping towards a female who lands on the roof, stalking her from tile to tile, and finally jumping on top when she is looking the other way. spanish sparrow - photo 14-8-13Thanks to Marcel Gil Velasco for this great pic. Read his blog at
5 to remember
raro/a – rare
el territorio – territory
implacablemente – relentlessly
jovial – cheerful
la curiosidad – curiosity

2 thoughts on “King of the Pool House Roof

  1. Sharon Bonin-Pratt

    We live in a eucalyptus woods in southern California, which means we live in an artificial forest of non-indigenous trees planted supposedly by someone who thought the lumber would make great railroad ties. Obviously someone who knew nothing about eucalyptus and how totally inappropriate the wood is for nearly anything practical, and nothing whatsoever about railroad ties. When we first moved here the trees were young and slender (me too) and we were able to deceive ourselves into believing that we lived in a real forest. The only birds that would agree to nest in them were a raucous band of noisy, dirty ravens. No other birds share the trees. But in the last year we’ve had three falcon couples move in. They have a lovely whistle and they seem to have cleared out the ravens. So we’ve also got a troop of sparrows who get along well with the falcons. Just common brown sparrows but they are sweet-natured and fun to watch. I’m not sure our tiny flock has taken your bird course, but I so much prefer them and the falcons to the ravens. I’ll be sure to let the males know about the requirement to observe domination, especially where the ravens are concerned. Thank you for your charming story.


    1. sandradan1 Post author

      Before we lived here, we had one holiday amidst olive groves in the Jaen province of Andalucía, Spain’s biggest olive oil producing area. We were so disappointed as we expected to see loads of birds but saw hardly any, mono-culture again. Enjoy the falcons!



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