Kathleen has been in touch with very in depth and interesting details about she has helped house sparrows.
Here is my personal experience of the of the decline followed by increase of house sparrows in my garden.
I first noticed the alarming absence of house sparrows about 8 years ago when listening to an old audiotape of my children playing in the garden in the 1970s. The most dominant sound, chrystal clear on the tape (you don’t find modestly priced tape recorders as good as that any more) was the constant chanting chirps and cheeps of sparrows. It sounded delightful yet I hardly noticed it at that time because it was something I’d heard all my life – it was part of life!
“Am I so busy I don’t notice it now?” Of course not, I was kidding myself. I went into the garden to check – silence. I was devastated, when did they go? why? what happened?
Sadly I hadn’t noticed until then because I was so delighted with the great variety of birds visiting my garden through years of constant feeding. Soon the media was talking about the decline in the sparrow population and it was all too real.
This was about 8 years ago, and the ivy I had planted against the front wall of my house had reached the top, my next-door neighbours had followed suit and then the next house.
We all put seed out and I have fatballs and peanuts outside my front window hanging from a cotoneaster which grows next to a pyracantha. Our gardens are bordered with hawthorn hedges, and we now have a large noisy community of HOUSE SPARROWS!
The ivy seems to be the solution, because the hedges and the regular feeding were always there. The ivy covering the 3 houses is their home, passers by are heard to comment “oh look at the little birds going in and out the ivy!”
We never have it trimmed at nesting time and are very careful all year round where we cut.
So from personal experience the problem seems to be loss of habitat, like woven fences taking the place of hedges and roofs being sealed up. As regards polution from traffic being a possibility, we live on a busy road with a bus route even though it is a rural village.
I hope my offering is of help to your survey.
Yours faithfully, Kathleen Phillips
Thanks for that Kathleen. It brings up a lot of points which I have found interesting and would like to go into in more detail tomorrow.
It’s really nice that other people care for birds and take time and do practical things to help them