San Francisco has a large City garden of about seventy acres, now quite lush, but originally just sand. For years before the motor car, SF had hundreds of horse drawn vehicles, all the manure went into that area and over many years completely changed the soil.
Re nooks and crannies in buildings and under roofs, Indian Miners also nest in them, and can be eliminated by blocking them off. Only once have seen I Miners nesting in a tree (eucalypt) hollow, in Mulgoa Valley, but that colony disappeared after a year, possibly related to
a few large local Varanus Goannas which are great tree climbers, and which possibly also restrict the number of parrots nesting in those holes.
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On 7 Feb 2019, at 1:54 pm, Carl Clifford <> wrote:
Sparrows thrive where there is horse dung. In the days of horse drawn transport, the kids who collected the dung and swept the roads, were called Sparrow Starvers (both the dung and sweepings were prized by gardeners).
Another factor in the decline of House Sparrows, is the change in buiding designs. Modern buildings don’t have the nooks and crannies that the sparrows love to nest and roost in. I visited Kathmandu, Nepal, a few years back my room overlooked the rear of a couple of buildings, which had many missing bricks and crevices, which were occupied by many House Sparrows. There was a constant flow of sparrow into and out of the walls, many carrying nesting material. I had never seen so many House Sparrows before.
On Wednesday, February 6, 2019, Michael Hunter <m("westnet.com.au","drmhunter");">
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 sad.
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