To: "Syd Curtis" <>, "bird" <>
Subject: Sparrows
From: "Rosemary Royle" <>
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2008 10:09:26 +0100
I am fascinated that House Sparrows are becoming scarce in urban areas in 
Australia, just like they are in the UK. They seem OK here in rural areas and 
are even increasing in some of these (e.g. Scotland, Wales)

If the House Sparrows are disappearing you can't help but wonder whether the 
cause must not also be affecting the humans. The favourite theory in the UK is 
that there are no insects in urban areas any more for the sparrows to feed to 
their young - which is true. (There are some staggering figures around about 
the decrease in moth densities over the last 50 years and you never see a fly 
in a town these days). But why are there no insects?? Traffic fumes maybe? 
Which also may cause the virtual asthma epidemic in children? Or just not 
enough habitat for insects to thrive? There is a huge amount of research going 
on and a guess the answers will emerge soon.

As one of the previous correspondents said, House Sparrows may simply be 
returning to sensible levels after a super-abundance in the early 1900s caused 
by untidy agriculture and in London, certainly, by the use of horse-drawn 
vehicles and the attendant oats.

Perhaps, at heart, they are a bird of untidy,scruffy and developing cities and 
just fade away when there is too much concrete.

Rosemary Royle

Wales, UK

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