200: the Eurasian Tree Sparrow

European goldfinch, courtesy Wikimedia commons

Birdwatching in Europe is a whole new deal for me, fabulously entertaining, because pretty much everything I see wherever I go is new. And since I’m a recently minted keeper of lists, it’s also productive. Most of the time I’ve been in Denmark I’ve been working, so I’ve left the binoculars and bird book in my hotel. They’re so distracting. But I had some time this afternoon to wander some of Copenhagen’s city parks and sort out the strange new birds I was seeing. And, of course, pad my life list.

The gulls, which are actual seagulls here, have been a lot of fun. The most beautiful bird I saw today was a European goldfinch in Churchillparken, an old military fort turned into a city park, with Danish defense ministry offices clustered in the middle, still “protected” by the battlements.

But it’s fitting that the bird that seems to have fallen at number 200 on my life list was the humble Eurasian tree sparrow. I was sitting on a park bench and he was flitting around in the branches above. Looks quite similar to the ordinary European house sparrow, but different enough that I had that immediate twitchy “thats a different bird” reaction.

Even more fun, though, has been to see actual European house sparrows in Europe. Makes me chuckle every time I see one. And, just like North American, they are everywhere.

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