Large flock of House Sparrows

To: Suzanne EDGAR <>
Subject: Large flock of House Sparrows
From: Martin Butterfield <>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2018 18:43:31 +0000
In June last year I recorded a flock which I estimated as 100 House Sparrows moving through some of the Hawthorns on Briars-Sharrow Rd.  Out this way the sparrows are are usually found, in small numbers, close to houses at which horses are kept

On 21 February 2018 at 16:20, Suzanne EDGAR <> wrote:

Lots here when we moved in c. 50 yrs ago but none now; ditto grass parrots, noisy friars, even the odd regent h’eater, 2ce @ least; latter is how I came to join COG: was telling pal Alastair Morrison & he sent this ob to rarities panel & urged bashful me to join; delayed till  c 1998.



From: John Harris [mailto:m("","john.harris");" target="_blank">]
Sent: Wednesday, 21 February 2018 11:06 AM
To: John Layton <>; Canberra birds <m("","canberrabirds");" target="_blank">>
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Large flock of House Sparrows


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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