Large flock of House Sparrows

To: John Harris <>
Subject: Large flock of House Sparrows
From: Michael Lenz <>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:56:23 +0000
These observations in the evening reflect movement to a night roost site. Usually sparrows come together from a wider area, hence at a given site numbers may be relatively low, but a roost draws in birds from further afield.

Michael Lenz

On 21 February 2018 at 11:06, John Harris <> wrote:

An interesting observation given that the general consensus is that House Sparrow numbers are decreasing in Australia and indeed globally. Of course one flock is not statistically significant but interesting anyway. Around here (Gungahlin)  I record fewer sparrows over the past few years than I did 10 years ago.





From: John Layton <>
Date: Wednesday, 21 February 2018 at 10:59 am
To: chatline <m("","canberrabirds");" target="_blank">>
Subject: [canberrabirds] Large flock of House Sparrows


At 19:00 Hours yesterday I noticed several groups of small birds flying past the window. Went outside and saw the outer foliage of a spreading apricot tree was crowded with House Sparrows, both males and females, although some of the latter were probably immatures. Arrestingly, the warm reddish rays of the westering sun imparted a ruddy patina to their dowdy plumage.


Groups of between 8 to twelve birds kept arriving from the south, most landed on the apricot while some continued north. After a few minutes, groups began leaving the apricot and flying back in the direction they had come. Then, just thirty metres away, they paused for a few seconds in a bushy birch before flying on out of sight. This movement continued for maybe 5 minutes until no sparrows remained in the area.


After a good objective think I believe the total number I witnessed easily exceeded 100 perhaps 150. I suppose all this was some kind of post-breeding movement? Regardless, it’s the largest flock of House Sparrows I’ve seen in Australia.


John Layton




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