Spanish Sparrow

To: "Patrick Scully" <>, "" <>
Subject: Spanish Sparrow
From: "Jim Tate" <>
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2014 13:24:28 -0700
Bringing the (Spanish) Sparrow discussion back to Australia for the moment....

On three trips to the Brisbane area in the last ten years I was surprised by the low numbers and small size of the Passer sp. around town. Here in Washington, DC they are large, dirty, and everywhere.  Perhaps Brisbane is just cleaner than DC so there is less to eat.  I know that in Brisbane they can't sit around smoking butts off the ground like they can in DC.  Or maybe it is something else that keeps their numbers and size down.  I am reminded that in England the P. domesticus appear to be dropping in numbers and distribution.  Conventional wisdom blames the decline in horses, also essentially absent in DC.

I am reminded of a story I once read of an ornithologist that took a trip across Europe and Asia by horse cart.  Somewhere in the steppes of Russia he stopped and shot all of the House Sparrows following his horse cart to prevent a range extension.  Probably apocryphal.     -TATE
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