Sparrows in the garden

by Pippa Greenwood

Apparently there's been a dip in the house sparrow population, but I'm pleased to say there's been no sign of it at my house.

Sparrows feeding on a bird feederApparently there's been a dip in the house sparrow population, but I'm pleased to say there's been no sign of it at my house. Three years ago, we had an extension put on and by the time I had my first night's sleep in the new part of the house, the sparrows had already moved in.

We're never in any doubt when spring has sprung; the roof comes alive with the wonderful sound of new sparrow families. We can often be found peering anxiously up towards the roof to see how things are progressing, and the children are always impressed by how both male and female parents feed their young.

Sparrows may be small, brown and not particularly exciting to look at, but I love them. They melt my heart, they really do. I know some gardeners are driven crazy by the tendency of these little birds to strip yellow flowers, such as crocus, but so what? And don't forget that the adults not only eat weed seeds, but they also feed their young with insects and their larvae. All-in-all, sparrows are a delight and a help in the garden.

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Gardeners' World Web User 26/06/2008 at 21:16

we havent seen house sparrows for the last five years, but this year the gardens full of the cheeky blighters, good to see them back.

Gardeners' World Web User 26/06/2008 at 21:18

I love house sparrows to0, last year we had some nesting under the tiles on the edge of the roof. I've noticed more in our garden this year, and yesterday I emptied the bird feeders and filled them with Bill Oddies seed mix aimed at attracting sparrows it worked. I came home at dinner time to see sparrows tucking in. To think back to childhood and feeding the birds the bigger percentage was sparrows in our garden and we loved it if we saw a blue tit, black cap, green finch or wow if you saw a bullfinch that was amazing but now I have more visiting blue tits, black caps than sparrows. Another little bird I love is the dunnock - it works so hard to find food for its young in and out the borders it never takes anything we put out, they just collect tiny beak fulls from the garden. They're nested in the hedge next to the conservatory last year and they have this, they're feeding young now. It's scary to think what it will be like at the bird feeders in 20 years time.

Gardeners' World Web User 26/06/2008 at 23:02

Pippa is very lucky to have so many sparrows in her garden. This is a bird that does not visit my small patch very often. Starlings are also in decline. Both starlings and sparrows were common sights not so many years ago. This goes to emphasise how much we all need to care for birds and wildlife. Stop using chemicals, plant wildlife friendly plants. If you only have room for a few, go for it! As a famous supermarket woudl say, "every little helps."

Gardeners' World Web User 27/06/2008 at 10:32

I'm always reduced to fits of jealousy when I visit my parents down in Devon because their garden is like Charing Cross for birds - they're always coming and going!! More specifically, they have a fantastic population of house sparrows who visit - one time I'm sure there were upwards of 10 pairs all at once! But recently, I've spotted a house sparrow pair visiting my own garden in the suburbs of SE London which I'm so pleased about and I've now ordered a house sparrow colony box from Garden Bird Supplies (brilliant web site, their bird food is good value and nutritious and they're all really friendly!) so hopefully they might take up permanent residence :-)

Gardeners' World Web User 28/06/2008 at 15:02

We Live in the centre of Aylesbury and our garden is a hive of activity. Black birds, Blue and Great tits Black caps. Starling doves and wood pigeons we even had a nest of Wrens We even get the odd visitor such as a Jay and a Sparrow hark the feeders are always busy we use no pesticides in the garden as the birds do a really good job. As for sparrows there are lots and spend a lot of time in the hedge and on the feeders a neighbour has Sparrows nesting in the ivy which grows against their house.

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