The Ingenuity of a Sparrow

The Ingenuity of a Sparrow

I have to admire the ingenuity of a sparrow when it comes to finding a home.


Every year I plant less of a garden and put in only several pepper and tomato plants besides a few herbs because of all the wildlife that finds them before they even have a chance to grow. The only way that I can plant tomatoes is in a few large containers near my back door on my patio. This way, I get at least a few tomatoes until the deer finally find those plants too. However, I got a surprise when I started watering those plants the other day when a sparrow flew out from the tall leaves in one of the containers.  Today, I want to fill you in on the ingenuity of a sparrow, which I deem as quite amazing.

I must say that the little sparrow that popped out from nowhere as I watered one of the tomatoes gave me a scare. My watering can almost toppled from my hand because she almost flew straight toward my face. I didn’t think much of it, but noticed a lot of dried grass, twigs and mud clumped up in a mass inside one of the tomato buckets. At first, I assumed it was blown there from all the severe weather we were having in my area. I was going to remove the mess, but got preoccupied with something else and temporarily forgot about it.

The next day, I started watering my tomato plants again. Guess what? The little sparrow shoots out from one of the tomato plants again. Yet, I couldn’t see what she built as a possible nest. There was no place for her to rest inside like a normal hollowed nest to bed it. What this mass of grass, twigs and mud was like a mud hut.

ingenuity of a sparrow nest
This is not a photo of my sparrow makeshift twig and mud structure, but it on the order of her design with a large round cluster and hole at the bottom. My little bird just has more ingenuity for building a better, stronger home.


Anyway, I continued watering my tomatoes and the same thing happened each time. I got the little sparrow flying out from somewhere in my tomato plant. On one of those occasions, she jumped out and headed just further down near my garage down and started chirping wildly at me. If birds could talk, I believe she was yelling at me for disturbing her rest and possibly flooding out her basement of that mud twig structure.

The Ingenuity of a Sparrow Knows No Bounds


My little sparrow wasn’t about to move by her tone of voice. She was just letting me know how rude it was of me to continue watering.  Trust me, I got her message because it was loud, clear and insistent by those angry chips and jumping around in my direction.

Now that we understood each other after she delivered her message, I ventured closer the next day and examined where she would sit.  Then I saw an opening of this mud hut and movement. I couldn’t see too far inward to check if was sitting on eggs. All I could see was just her little feathered chest breathing.

I tried leaving her some bread, but she didn’t care for my baking. Little sparrow stayed inside her mud hut and this time, I saw her face forward watching me.

In my entire life, I never saw such a smart little single mother work so hard on such an ingenious nest to protect herself from all this bad rain.  All the painstaking efforts that this small bird put into fashioning this structure along with the sharp reprimand she gave for intruding on her privacy attest to the ingenuity of a sparrow.   First she has the large mass of tomato leaves to catch some of the rain and then that mud, twigs and grass upper layer to her downstairs entrance of her makeshift mud hut.

I would have taken a photo to show you, but I was afraid it would scare her. My feathered little mother already has issues with me, but I didn’t have the heart to cause her more undue stress to her already complicated single mother problems.

This morning I dropped some bread into that tomato bucket without causing little sparrow to whip out of her place like lightning. I think that she is starting to get used to me. Now we have an understanding between us. I don’t water to close to her entrance. In return, little sparrow stays put and doesn’t come flying out at me. Our mutual trust of each other also demonstrates her intelligence and ingenuity of a sparrow and making peace with her new landlord, yours truly.

I have an important update about my little sparrow mother.  I got my first glimpse of her two babies.  One sweet bird had her mouth opened waiting for food as I snuck a glance inside their inner nest.




  1. gloria patterson
    July 19, 2019 / 1:26 pm

    Congrats on the new family 🙂 Years ago my brother put his work boots in the rafters of the porch when they left for vacation. A little over a week later he took the boots down and to his surprise it had nest in it. He switched to his other boots for a while.

  2. Heather!
    July 22, 2019 / 9:28 am

    What a gift! You are getting to witness something really special, even if it is something that happens every day. Too many people take everyday miracles for granted. So glad you recognize how special it is and how lucky you are. Enjoy every minute of it!

    • nuts4stuff
      July 22, 2019 / 11:09 am

      It is a miracle all right that little sparrow picked my tomato container to put her “nest.” You won’t believe how many times I go out just to leave little mother some bread and check in on the babies. I love to watch their little mouths open waiting for their mother to feed them. The only thing that bothers me is how much time little mother leaves her babies alone. I worry that something will get them.

  3. tat2gurlzrock
    July 24, 2019 / 8:10 am

    This is such a sweet story. Congrats to you on your little gifts in your garden!

  4. Lynne B
    July 24, 2019 / 8:27 am

    Wow! Thanks for sharing your wildlife story. You did a great job describing the nest so I could picture it in my head.

  5. Kirsten Lyon
    August 16, 2019 / 6:18 am

    I am glad you & sparrow came to an understanding!

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