I was watching the birds eat at our feeders when I saw a sparrow fly up and whack a dove in the chest. Feathers went everywhere. After the dove flew away, the sparrow picked up a feather and flew off. Can you explain this?—Patrick Yoder, Dayton, Indiana
George: It sounds to me like the sparrow needed some feathers to line its nest. Birds get very bold when they're looking for nesting material. Tufted titmice, for example, will pull hair directly from the heads of people and animals. This sparrow knew where to find some soft feathers, and it wasn't afraid to go after it!