Monday, 25 March 2013

The rise and fall of the House Sparrow


I love these cocky, confident and cheeky little creatures and it's sad that the bird described by the RSPB as "the ultimate avian opportunist" is still struggling in the UK. While the sparrow has colonised most of the world, here House Sparrows have seen their numbers decline alarmingly, recently estimated as dropping by 71 per cent between 1977 and 2008 with substantial declines in both rural and urban populations. Indeed there are now thought to be 10 million fewer House Sparrows in the UK than there were 25 years ago. The blame has been pointed at everything from cats to air pollution, but recent research suggests two factors are having the most impact – fewer meadow and garden insects to feed on, especially in spring and summer, because of the urbanisation of our green spaces; and a reduction in the availability of suitable nest sites as house design has changed and gardens have become tidier with fewer hedgerows. If you'd like to help by building a communal terrace nestbox designed specifically for sparrows, then Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust has a simple to construct design here.


Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS L lens, 1/320th sec, f/6.3, 400mm at ISO 250

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS L lens, 1/250th sec, f/8, 400mm at ISO 250

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS L lens, 1/320th sec, f/6.3, 400mm at ISO 250

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS L lens, 1/200th sec, f/8, 400mm at ISO 250

3 comments:

  1. I have a long fence covered in old Ivy, they love it in there and in the Hawthorn and Beech hedging.

    I wish I could see some Tree Sparrows, they have been missing from this area for a long time.

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  2. That all sounds like perfect sparrow habitat.

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