View Full Version : House Sparrows

04-08-2012, 13:44
Since we moved to this house over 8 years a go we've hardly seen any small birds, even though there's loads of bushes and we've put out food for them.

Particularly missing was the common house sparrow, but this year we've had a small flock of them, upto 30.

They've had two broods by the look of them as we had young early in the spring then more recently, another crop of youngsters.

Every day they come, then all of a sudden, nothing for over a week, then slowly a smaller number have returned.

Anyone an "expert" on House Sparrows?? I read somewhere that they've been in decline, but where do they vanish to??

PS a couple of years a go, we made our garden less "Gull friendly" by putting in plenty of obstacles, it seems they don't like confined spaces.

04-08-2012, 14:07
Numbers peaked in the early 1970s. I read somewhere that increased use of pesticides had reduced the supply of insects for their food.

04-08-2012, 15:21
House AND Tree sparrow have been on the red list for some time. I do have plenty around me tho
The RSPB: Tree sparrow (http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/t/treesparrow/index.aspx)

04-08-2012, 16:16
I'm glad they've started breeding around here, they're quite comical.

We used to be inundated by seagulls, probably part of the problem, but although I live only 300m from the coast, I would still expect to see many more smaller birds in our garden, especially as there's an overgrown lane at the back of the houses and most of the neighbours have a variety of trees planted.

Get the occasional blue tit and robin, loads of Jackdaws, a few collared doves and the odd feral pigeon.

A few years a go there were quite a lot of starlings, but they seem to have vanished from our patch, but I do see them flocking at the old pier.

04-08-2012, 16:42
Pigeons have taken over round my way. They are quite big and I think they push out a lot of other birds as well as being well adapted to living ner humans.

04-08-2012, 18:07
Crows or Rooks and Jackdaws are our biggest scourge here, they wreck our seed feeders and make a right mess, we persevere with our feeders though as we get a good variety of small birds too, we have Sparrows, not may Starlings, regular visitors are a pair of Bullfinches, and Greenfinches, our Robin seems to be absent at the moment and we have had a Squirrel turn up and that is unusual because of where we live, the other morning we had a Kestrel on the lawn, don't know what he was after though.

04-08-2012, 18:21
For a while, we didn't have a dog and the birds declined in our garden because of the blasted cats coming in, but now we've got a dog again who vents her anger on any cats coming near the garden, the birds have come back big time.

We have loads of house sparrows, which enjoy the hawthorn hedge at the bottom of the garden, plenty of cover....


... although not enough for one blackbird that got eaten by a sparrowhawk.


Our neighbours have lots of feeders and the birds go there to feed, then return to our hedge to socialise.

04-08-2012, 18:29
We live by the coast too,we are lucky in that we have the lot here they do love large bushes and i refuse to cut any of ours until the birds and bees have vacated at the end of the year and also when the bloom vanishes.We have house sparrows first and then later on in june july time we have tree sparrows.They all seem to breed fine and i would imagine like all other birds if their brood failed then they would find somewhere else to try to be more succesfull.We also have always got dunnocks in our garden,a lovely little bird akin to the sparrow that has a blue tinge to his underparts.
This year we have for the first time had green finches and their young feeding off our bird feeders and together with blue and great tits robins e.t.c we have been eaten out of house and home.The one drawback can be the squirrels we can have 3 of them in our garden at times and they are a pain in the arse as they can get to the feeders that we put out for the blackbirds with their young.Have seen loads of other birds and i would say that our garden is tidy but overgrown this is because we love our birds and set the garden out for them rather than have a tidy poncy garden;).

We also put a heavy bowl on our balcony wall for the birds so that they can have a drink,they have all been their including the numerous wood pigons and also seagulls.Despite the seagulls tapping on our balcony doors we dont feed them as they can be a real nuisance but dont object to them drinking,i think they are waiting for us to feed them,but we are not going there lol.
Wood pigons like seagulls dont seem to struggle to find food but they do appreciate water as they dont get much water from the kinds of food and grains that they eat.
The decline in sparrows like a lot of our birds is mostly due to the destruction of hedgerows and their natural habitat,i would agree that pesticides wouldnt be helping mainly as this will be killing the insects that the birds need to feed their young.
Im going on here a bit, as you can guess we love the birds,always visit rspb sites when we can and when we hit the road fulltiming i guess we can learn more about our freinds and spend some leisure time watching them.

04-08-2012, 18:40
Never seen any starlings in our garden,lovely little birds,where you find one their will kmow doubt be a load nearby.
The majority of of starlings seen are normally migrants,i remember feeding one chips when we went to st michaels mount some years ago,lovely busy little chaps.
Did notice a dead pigon in our garden a few months back but before i could despose of it a buzzard landed and on the second occasion flew off with it.For the rarer birds in winter time is best one of my favs is the bullfinch who only visits in winter,have also seen redwings.
The nightingale of the north a.k.a the blackcap visits us most years although sadly absent this year,but we have had a mating pair and their young a couple of years ago dominating our feeders.

04-08-2012, 18:48
In my local patch of woodland (which is on the other side of the road from my house), we've had blackcaps this year, although they were a bit late in arriving.


I see bullfinches frequently - they are all year round visitors -



and in fact there was a female in the tree above me earlier this week. The contact call is easy to imitate and I can usually get them to come to within a couple of metres of me.