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                                                                                           

shutterstock_65511514-cae0733

The population of house sparrows is reaching a six-year high in British gardens, according to surveys from the British Trust for Ornithology.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

If you’d like a free BTO house sparrow factsheet, please email gbw@bto.org