Thursday, 17 March 2011

World Sparrow Day : March 20

This Sunday is World Sparrow Day, organised by Nature Forever Society who are one of the partners in this event along with the RSPB and the BTO. Link to the event can be found here World Sparrow Day.

Ahead of that the BTO have released new and exciting results from the last world Sparrow Day, which I'm posting in it's entirety here from a BTO press release.

World Sparrow Day: new results The British Trust for Ornithology’s (BTO’s) Garden BirdWatch survey has provided exciting new results for World Sparrow Day. House Sparrows are increasingly being lost from gardens between summer and autumn. However, House Sparrows have only really struggled in English, not Welsh or Scottish, gardens.

House Sparrow populations are no longer considered to be secure across Europe and, on the 20th March 2011, World Sparrow Day will highlight the plight of this charismatic and confiding bird. To coincide with the big day, BTO’s year-round Garden BirdWatch has provided illuminating new results, charting the House Sparrow’s decline.The results, which have been welcomed by wildlife expert Chris Packham, show big seasonal and geographical differences in the downward trend of this species. Overall, however, almost one in four British and Irish gardens that hosted a House Sparrow in 1995 no longer have any visiting. Summer and autumn: critical times.

The number of householders who have lost their House Sparrows between summer and autumn has doubled since 1995, supporting the theory that this is the crunch period. The BTO’s Nest Record Scheme shows that brood sizes of House Sparrows have declined steadily since the 1960s, with a shortage of invertebrate food with which to feed young in urban areas thought to be an important factor. Food scarcity can also cause chicks to fledge in poorer condition, thereby reducing their survival prospects. With increased demand for off-street parking and so called ‘garden grabbing’ (development of gardens for housing), feeding areas for urban sparrows have been reduced. Moreover, use of pesticides and planting of non-native evergreen vegetation are likely to have diminished invertebrate availability for these birds further. Regional differences.

The House Sparrow’s demise has been most marked in England, with an average of 86% of gardens visited between 1995 and 1998, down to 66% over the past four years. Over the same period, however, only around one in 20 Scottish and Welsh householders have lost their House Sparrows, with 74% and 78% of gardens still occupied in each country, respectively. Preliminary results from gardens in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland suggest that House Sparrows may be faring quite well here too.

Having read this I can't see much of a decline in my own garden which is visited by 20 - 30 house sparrows each day (as witnessed by my vanishing seed and peanut stocks). I long to see a tree sparrow at home but while they are in the area, they are only in single figures, sadly. But both species of UK sparrow are delightful to look at, with their chestnut backs.

House Sparrow above, Tree Sparrow below

In response to Shysongbirds comment, here is a link to a DIY sparrow terrace nest box


  1. I am always amazed to read that House Sparrows are declining in your country. Here they are so prolific that people try to eliminate them from their gardens. We have well over 100 that come to our feeders. They are lively birds. They take advantage of any nook or cranny for nesting. I have only once seen a tree in the country with a whole colony of nests. It was fun to see many intricately woven nests all in one place. Unfortunately I didn't have a camera with me.

  2. I have noticed a severe decline in House Sparrows here Andrew. In my case it coincided with us replacing the rotting wooden boarding under the eaves of the roof which previously allowed the sparrows into the loft to nest. This lead me to the thought that so many people have replaced their boarding with UPVC which of course is impenetrable. I am convinced this practice has had a huge impact on House Sparrows.

    As for Tree Sparrows, they were a common sight here when I was a child but now | barely if ever see them.

  3. Thanks Lisa, you have a lot of sparrows coming to your garden. House sparrows here don't tend to build nests in trees anymore (although some still do) as they are now habitulated to human dwellings. i'd love to see your nests in trees.

    Ahhahh yes Shysongbird this is a massive problem. You could overcome this by erecting sparrow terrace on your house. if you wanted to build your own, quite easy really, this is a fab link

  4. Thankfully, we have a thriving population of house sparrows here. There are ventilation grills in the walls above our garage and the cavities inside lead the way to Sparrow Towers! As I write, there are several extended families cheeping and chattering away in the tree outside my window.
    The cats will be on daytime curfew again when nesting and fledging begins.

  5. Good to hear the cats will be on daytime curfew Dartford Warbler, but a wonderful image of you sitting and writing to the chirruping of the sparrows. I love working in the ofice and watching their antics on the feeders.

  6. http://www.bombaysamachar.com/frmStoryShow.aspx?sNo=48609
    તમારા ઘરની ચકલીની નોંધણી કરાવી?
    આ ઉપક્રમમાં હજી સુધી ૭ હજાર જેટલી ચકલીની નોંધણી કરવામાં આવી હતી. - This Numbers Looks quite an un-appropriate.
    આમાં સાડાહજાર વ્યક્તિએ (સાડાહજાર=HOW MANY?) સાડાપાંચ હજાર કરતાં વધુ સ્થળે મળતી ચકલીની નોંધ કરવામાં મદદ કરી હતી અને આગામી ૩૧મી મે સુધી તેમાં નોંધપાત્ર વધારો થાય એવી શક્યતા છે.
    ઘટી રહેલી ચકલીઓની સંખ્યા ચોક્કસ કેટલી છે તે જાણવા માટે આમઆદમીની મોટા પાયે મદદ લેવામાં આવી રહી છે.
    માત્ર ચકલીઓની સંખ્યા ન મોજતાં તે કેટલાક સ્થળોએ ચકલીનું અસ્તિત્વ જ નથી એવા સ્થળોની માહિતી (Our house is full of CHAKALIES for every day)
    પણ નાગરિકો દ્વારા આપવામાં આવી
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