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What is even more perplexing is the variable fortunes of sparrows in the UK - severe decline in London and the South East contrasted by equally strong growth in the West (up 92% in ten years in Wales). Despite a lot of research we still cant come up with a satisfactory reason why, though housing upgrades, unleaded petrol and agricultural change are all possible factors.
I live in Bristol and over the years have become aware of their decline. But for the last six years as I have walked along a road in south Bristol I have heard the chirping and cheeping of sparrows; the only place I ever hear them. I too came to the conclusion that the eaves must have something to do with it as well as the privet hedges in the front gardens of most of these houses. The houses late 1920's local authority housing, much of which has not been externally modernised to a great extent.
I would be interested to know if the eaves alone and/or the privet makes a difference to the few existing sparrow communities we have.