Plants aren’t the only creatures that benefit from a good rainfall. Rain softens the ground, washes away the layer of dust, and motivates seeds to grow into sprouts. These White-crowned Sparrows took advantage. They foraged on the south side of the park, at the edge of pavement and within a few feet of traffic. Despite the noisy urban setting, they look quite healthy, maybe even a bit plump.
The adults have contrasting black and white stripes on their heads; in the juveniles, the stripes are shades of brown.
The white-crowned sparrow is known for its natural alertness mechanism, which allows it to stay awake for up to two weeks during migration. This effect has been studied for possible human applications, such as shift-work drowsiness or truck driving.
We walk right by these seasonally common birds, paying them no mind. “Just a sparrow,” we think. But these creatures can do things that are far out of our reach. If we could enter into their minds, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear them comment, as we pass by, “Just a human.”