Until recently we were domiciled in Mulgoa Valley, semi-rural with House
Sparrows resident and thriving.
Until the horse people next door departed, about five years ago, in retrospect
it was over the ensuing months that the sparrows disappeared, only one or two
briefly passing through.
The decline has been worldwide.
The most appealing explanation is that although graniverous, Passer domesticus
needs insects to feed their chicks. The overwhelming use of insecticides
throughout the developed world (House Sparrows have colonised dwellings
worldwide outside the polar regions) has killed off the insects.
The horses next door supported plenty of flies and presumably sparrows too.
Although we Sydneysiders are aware that horse-drawn trams probably disappeared
from Melbourne, years ago, there must be some explanation other than horses,
although they are in the news. Jiggers in that context are not insects,
Some towns and cities spray their entire area for Mosquitos and flies. We now
live at Avoca Beach on the NSW. Central. Coast in our onetime holiday house.
Until this year night lights attracted insects galore, and some interesting
geckos feeding on them, but this year almost none. No Dollarbirds, ( yet
anyway but usually here at Christmas) occasional Welcome Swallows, no Wrens
except on the littoral vegetation between houses and the beach. Not sure if
the Council is spraying or possibly just the accumulation of domestic sprayers.
House Sparrows are behaviourally very interesting and their loss is
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