Tag Archives: tree

House Sparrow Diet

An interesting and worrying fact about the house sparrows has again been brought to my notice.

Kate Vincent who was a student at Leicester De Montford University made a detailed survey of house sparrows as part of her Univeristy Degree. 

After further study Kate found  shrubs which are not native to Britain are one of the reasons why house sparrows are declining.


HERE IS THE LINK TO MY BIRD FRIENDLY PLANT LIST –  it has a list of some of the plants, trees and shrubs that are good for birds.  If it is not clear I can email you a copy.

In 2007 Kate realised there are not enough insects for the parent birds to bring to the chicks and fledglings so the young starve in the nests.

A pair of house sparrows need to raise at least 5 chicks to keep the house sparrow population on an even keel. 

Many chicks die in the first week of their life.  When fledgelings fly the nest, they are sometimes undernourished and die soon after leaving the nest.  Isn’t that sad? 

In hedgerows and nest boxes all over England are parent birds unable to feed their young.

While we are sat in the sun enjoying our gardens or our local parks young birds could be starving nearby.

We are planting foreign plants in our garden which our native insects cannot survive in.  So there are less insects for the sparrows to feed their young.


A lot of people are also concreting over their gardens.  Maybe they do it because they do not like gardening.  If only people  realised an untidy garden is a haven for wildlife they may stop concreting their gardens.


We can help by planting native plants, shrubs in the garden so insects can survive and sparrows can survive too.

I cannot imagine Britain without the House Sparrow.  They have always been here.  I think I have seen a sparrow nearly every day.

When I was young, many years ago, sparrows were so common, but then again when I was young there were not so many cars and all the shrubs, trees, plants in the garden were good, solid British plants.

This morning I was wondering what would it be like for us if we had to go out and forage for our breakfast and could not just pour some milk over our cornflakes when ever we were hungry.

I have done a Bird Friendly Plant List which you could print off or, if you sent me your email address, I can email it to you.  HERE IS THE LINK TO MY BIRD FRIENDLY PLANT LIST

If you do print it off and take it to a garden centre, could you ask if you could leave a copy for other customers?  We should try and spread the word.  Kate did her survey in 2007 and sparrows are still in decline.

I am trying to make the list reader friendly and turn it into a leaflet,  so I hope you will be patient and use the list as it is for now. 

Or else buy Bird Friendly Plants there are plenty of them.

I will always put bird food out, but plants can help such a lot.

Have just put out cheese, birdfood and bread coated in lard before I wrote this.  Have a good day. Trisha