House sparrows approach six-year high after steep decline
The population of house sparrows is reaching a six-year high in British gardens, according to surveys from the British Trust for Ornithology.
The birds had been following the trend of a steep decline throughout the 20th century, with populations dropping sharply in 2006.
It is possible that a disease outbreak in the early 1970s was responsible for a particularly sudden drop, but this is not proven.
The BTO surveys showed that the number of birds using garden feeders has increased, with many looking for food and shelter with their fledglings.
Tim Harrison, of the BTO Garden BirdWatch Team, is wary of the work that still needs to be done to protect these birds:
“These 'green shoots of recovery' for House Sparrows in gardens are small and delicate. They need nurturing and the BTO wants to help the public to do this.”
It is important to keep gardens cultivated with thick vegetation, clean feeding stations and nest boxes to help maintain and increase their numbers further.
If you’d like a free BTO house sparrow factsheet, please email firstname.lastname@example.org