This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Concerning the English sparrow eating fruit I can speak positively. Great numbers of them nest in the neighborhood of my house, winter and summer, seeming to enjoy particularly my garden. I have seen them for years there by the hundred, and never until this fall have I had reason to believe them trespassers upon its fruit. It so happened the very day your last journal came I sat looking over its pages by my library window. I had just noticed "Maryland's" request for information, and raised my eye at the same moment toward the window. There in full view upon the grape trellis opposite were at least one dozen of the sparrows in a vigorous attack upon a few clusters of Delawares still upon the vines. Caught in the act, they were guilty beyond peradventure! Still, as they had destroyed without doubt through the summer insects without number, and before touching my fruit had waited for me to take my share, I made no objection to them now taking theirs. Strictly speaking they are fruit thieves, but certainly unusually modest ones.
I wish it were possible to make their example followed by the rascally oriole.