Featured Photo

Sparrows enjoy a morning at the beach - and we're jealous

Wouldn't it be awesome to enjoy the warm seaside sun on a cold day?

October 30, 2015 | Latest Photo Prev Next
Sparrows in flightSparrows in flightPhoto: Ziva & Amir / Flickr
October 30, 2015 | Latest Photo

It may be a chilly day, but these sparrows are happy to warm themselves on seaside rocks in Tel Aviv, Israel. The rocks' elaborate and colorful details combined with the beautiful outlines of the birds make this look like a Japanese landscape painting, though this particular piece of photographic art feels almost too lively for two dimmensions.

Seven species of sparrows live in Israel, including the house sparrow, Spanish sparrow, Dead Sea sparrow, Eurasian tree sparrow, chestnut-shouldered petronia, rock petronia and pale rockfinch.

House sparrows in particular seem to have followed humans around the globe; they generally live near human settlements. Sparrows are a remarkably adaptable kind of bird; 35 species exist throughout the world in every continent except Antarctica because, well, nobody really wants to live in Antarctica.

These birds have been found living in California's Death Valley at 280 feet below sea level as well as in the Colorado Rocky Mountains at altitudes more than10,000 feet. They even live and breed in a Yorkshire, England coal mine, fed by the miners over 700 feet below ground level.

Perhaps some of their literally widespread success has to do with their wide range of movements. House sparrow hop instead of walk while getting around a garden (though they can walk too), and they can even swim underwater when threatened. Maybe the birds in this photo will hop in the Mediterranean for a nice plunge soon.

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