[Fwd: Re: [BIRDING-AUS] sparrows]

To: bird <>
Subject: [Fwd: Re: [BIRDING-AUS] sparrows]
From: brian fleming <>
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 21:10:54 +1100
Forgot to add address. One of those days.
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To: crompton <>
Subject: sparrows
From: brian fleming <>
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 21:09:42 +1100
crompton wrote:

Hi all , Has anybody noted the decrease in Sparrow numbers over the last 15 years.The backyard of my southern sydney home used to team with them,now they are no where to be seen. Any thoughts?
regards G.Crompton

Recent British bird reports indicate that severe decline there in both House and Tree Sparrows is mainly caused by loss of insects (partly caused by loss of weed plants). Sparrows feed their young almost entirely on insects for first week of life, and without this they die. There is also the shortage of nesting sites now that buildings are either built without ledges or crevices, or have them netted off to deter the feral Pigeons. In London in 1990 we saw no Sparrows, even in Hyde Park, and saw few out in the countryside either. Now that Australian city backyards are built over, and gardens reduced to small fringes of ornamental Box and Iceberg roses, it's no wonder we don't see Sparrows nearly as much in cities as we did. Ultra-violet insect traps can't help either. Local supermarket car-park still seems to have a healthy population though, and last time I was at the State Library in Melbourne I saw that a couple of nests had been successfully built on the carved capitals despite bird netting - they had found little gaps and got in with twigs and grass just the same.
There are no Sparrows  in our untidy, unsprayed backyard either.
   Anthea Fleming
   Ivanhoe, Vic.

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