Saturday, 9 June 2012

Sparrow Friendly Street

The House Sparrow is common throughout the world. In the UK it is almost a national symbol, the chirpy little cockney sparrow was once found in every big city, even London. Since the mid 1970s urban populations of the sparrow have declined by 60%. It is now a red-listed species of high conservation concern. 
Many of the answers to halting this decline can be found in this picture. As I walked down the street I was immediately struck by the numbers of sparrows I could both see and hear busy building nests. It is fair to say that the houses here look a little old fashioned, wooden windows rather than UPVC, wooden gables with the odd hole, an occasional loose tile and missing piece of mortar. One side of the street consists of allotments growing fruit and veg, which means soil instead of gravel, paving and decking.
In short the sparrows have all they need to survive and multiply, the odd nook and cranny near human habitation in which they can build a nest, weed seeds for food, and bare soil in which to dust bathe to remove parasites. Sparrow heaven.


  1. I used to holiday in the East End with my mothers parents as a boy and there were lots of sparrows back then. I have noticed a serious decline over the past few years. I have not seen dozens of them on a telephone wire for many years.

  2. I haven't noticed any decline here. We have a nest under our eaves that they use every year.

  3. Such a pretty street, too. Anyone would be happy to live there.

    We're having a shortage of bees. That's no good.


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