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09/11/2012 at 09:09
09/11/2012 at 10:23

Not sure what you're asking - it's well known that the numbers of house sparrows have been declining recently, mainly due to the lack of suitable nest sites because of 'improvements' in building styles, and a lack of the sort of untidiness that sparrows need to live their lives.

Are you saying that you used to have house sparrows nesting around where you are and now they've gone?  If so can you identify what's changed, what's different?  Have you or your neighbours had some roofing work done and now they can't find their way under the tiles to nest.  If so you can get some colony nest boxes to put on your house wall (out of strong sunlight).

If you're  referring to the fact that there were sparrows around earlier in the year and you've not seen any lately, that's likely to be due to the fact that lots of birds head for the bushes, fields and hedgerows in late summer, feeding on the grains and seeds in arable and wild scrubby areas, only returning to gardens when wild food is scarce.

10/11/2012 at 17:18

I've lived in the same house for 41 years and we used to have hundreds of sparrows visiting the garden. But over the years there have been fewer each year. Now it is a momentous event if I see a sparrow at all! I contacted RSPB and asked them if it had anything to do with the magpies that nest in nearby hedges. They told me that they are devils for robbing the sparrows nests so the sparrows have probably moved away. I know they are in general decline but would love them back as they are such cheerful little things.

11/11/2012 at 22:03

We heard about this problem a few years ago so we now have eight bird boxes and have opened up the plastic grilles to help the nesting process.  Around the house we also have five feeders costing a small fortune but we love to hear and see the 422 squadron which at its peak must have forty birds, all in a 60 foot garden 

12/11/2012 at 10:38

I had a lot of sparrows who feed in my front garden and for twenty years they came and fed and brought their young but now they come to the back garden to feed.They have declined in numbers and this I think is because people have re-roofed(or loft extensions) their properties and they have to find other places to nest.

12/11/2012 at 11:01

This all sounds sadly familiar but on a positive note our garden sparrow population has started to increase over the past 2-3 years so fingers crossed it will continue.

   

13/11/2012 at 17:12

There's nothing more cheerful than a hedgeful of sparrows chirping away.

13/11/2012 at 17:56

I must admit to the fact that I think my 2 cats have not helped at all, it always seems to be sparrows that they catch, not that they have single handedly caused the downfall of the humble sparrow. It's just the one bird they catch most often. We have tits,pidgeons,magpies and a small bird with a long tail(wagtail?) but the poor little sparrow lucks out  I do feed my cats so it must just be their nature.

14/11/2012 at 09:44

It is indeed their nature, but most cat-owners are not prepared to admit it, or else excuse it by saying that other predators are far worse. During visits to my gardens it is only too obvious what a sad and unecessary toll cats take on birds. There are many countries where cats (and of course other predators) have been introduced and wreaked havoc on native species; David Attenborough referred to one of these cases last week on his 'Attenborough's Ark' programme.

14/11/2012 at 11:20

When we moved to this ex farmhouse there was no garden and about 3 sparrows.   We have turned the surrounding cow pasture into a garden, erected a feeding station out of reach of our cats and a ground feeding site away from pouncing cover, feed the birds all year round, sectioned off the ends of our attics so the birds can nest safely in the eaves and bingo, we now have about 30 or so nesting pairs who live in the eaves and produce 2 or 3 clutches each summer as well as others who nest elsewhere but feed and play in our garden.

We also have assorted tits and finches as well as seasonal dunnocks, wrens, and woodpeckers plus pheasants, jays, corws, magpies and so on.

I never spray against pests and diseases and find the birds hoover up caterpilars and aphids to feed their young.   A case of give and take that works for us.   

The cats have never caught one and the sparrowhawk has only caught one pigeon and one sparrow that I've ever seen. 

 

 

 

14/11/2012 at 19:30

That sounds wonderful obelixx 

14/11/2012 at 19:48

Is that Obelixx the Ghost?

15/11/2012 at 08:20
Hi we have just moved into our new home and noticed there are. No common sparrows plenty of magpies and wondered what the problem was it as took us 6months to attract the smaller birds we seem to have plenty of wood pigeons and magpies and was wondering if they were keeping the smaller birds away
15/11/2012 at 10:01

We have plenty of Magpies, Wood Pigeons and Crows in our garden in London. We also have lots of Sparrows, Goldfinches and other smaller birds. No problem therefore in attracting other species because of the larger birds. Perhaps there is another reason why you are not getting the smaller birds into your garden.

15/11/2012 at 10:03

Small birds need cover to hide in - either scruffy buildings with nooks and crannies under the tiles etc, or thick thorny hedges etc to chatter away in and hide from the marauding sparrowhawks etc.  Airy trees and elegant shrubberies won't do. 

15/11/2012 at 19:04

My neighbours have a thick leylandii hedge so I would guess they would use that. But sadly no sparrows, though we have a regular green woodpecker who visits. He was here yesterday inspecting our lawn!

15/11/2012 at 21:24

He should keep your lawn ant-free! 

16/11/2012 at 00:50

I have a hawthorn hedge along one side of my garden which now has about 50 sparrows nesting in it (they don't seem to nest anywhere else) and I also feed all the year round.  Numbers seem to have recovered from when they were at their lowest about 4 years ago, when they were down to 2 or 3 pairs.  There are two 4-bird feeders and a bird table (which has vertical wires around the sides to prevent wood pigeons landing and scoffing the lot!)  The sparrows have to queue on nearby fence tops and shrubs etc to take their turn at a feeder, but I wouldn't say it's at all an orderly queue - it's such fun watching them squabbling!  Somehow a few blue tits, coal tits, great tits and greenfinches manage to get in there too.  Since the rise in sparrow population here, I've had no serious aphid or other insect pest problems, so I count the money spent on birdfood as rather good value.

16/11/2012 at 11:50

BobTheGardener, you have described exactly what goes on in my garden, a very healthy sparrow population and yes, its fantastic seeing the other species taking full advantage of the feeders. Something I've learned over the years is when they are frantically feeding, as is happening today, it usually means we are in for some nasty weather conditions.

16/11/2012 at 15:30
We have sparrows in our garden they share our feeders with the ring doves starlings occasional robin and of course not forgetting Walter pigeon. I think sparrows are amazing to think how they can hold their own at the feeding tables yesterday a passing robin left with a flea in the ear our little resident sparrows saw to that now that's spirit, though the robin did return when the coast was clear. Great to watch better than telly!!!!!!!
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