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House sparrow population in Europe drops by 247m


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Soukous

If you've been wondering why you don't see as many Sparrows as you used to, here's why.

There are 247m million fewer house sparrows in Europe than there were in 1980, and other once ubiquitous bird species have suffered huge declines, according to a new study

New study reveals huge declines in once common species amounting to loss of one in six birds since 1980

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/16/house-sparrow-population-in-europe-drops-by-247m

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wilddog

I have certainly noticed this and have put much of it down  locally  to paving over front and back gardens  removing hedges, and cutting down any decent sized trees.  

 

I live in a large village with countryside around but nearly everyone is creating there own pristine concrete jungle.  Makes me mad.

 

Edited by wilddog
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ForWildlife

More accurate reporting would be that there are between 156 million and 341 million fewer housesparrows now. But I think everybody older than 30 should have noticed there are fewer birds now than when they grew up. It's also noticeable when you go from Europe on safari to Africa. There are many many more birds and insects. In many cities in North-West Europe the most heard bird-noise is from the exotic ring-necked parakeet. Birds in agricultural landscapes suffer greatly from the intensification of agriculture, nitrogen deposits, etc. Birds in cities suffer from lack of food, less and less plants, and less breeding places. People these days just concrete their gardens to save some time and dirty hands. It's sad.

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Caracal
21 hours ago, wilddog said:

but nearly everyone is creating there own pristine concrete jungle

 

14 hours ago, ForWildlife said:

People these days just concrete their gardens to save some time and dirty hands. It's sad.

 

Well they can't be called gardens after concreting so what are they called ?

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wilddog

@Caracal'LANDSCAPED' gardens. Slabs concrete, gravel, tarmac or wooden decking.......The guys that do 'Landscape' Gardening are reaping huge rewards. The usually add a few potted plants and or artificial grass.........................

Edited by wilddog
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Whyone?
21 hours ago, wilddog said:

I have certainly noticed this and have put much of it down  locally  to paving over front and back gardens  removing hedges, and cutting down any decent sized trees.  

 

I live in a large village with countryside around but nearly everyone is creating there own pristine concrete jungle.  Makes me mad.

 

We are also fortunate to live in a village and have a back garden which looks out onto farmland so lots of birds visit.

 

However, two houses close to us have recently sold to new owners and both have paved over huge areas of their gardens. Like @wilddogI find this incredibly frustrating, but what can you do? :(

 

They must think we are bonkers with our 'wild areas', including patches of stinging nettles.

Edited by Whyone?
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Whyone?
48 minutes ago, Caracal said:

 

 

Well they can't be called gardens after concreting so what are they called ?

Yards?

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Game Warden

The Yardbirds?

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Caracal

The other day I started reading Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin's book Back to Nature How to love life-and save it. (happened to see it on the shelf in our local library).

The heading on the back cover of the book states:

We need nature more than ever. And it needs us too.

I thought Covid was leading to a greater appreciation of nature and the world around us but it sounds like a lot of landscapers and home owners over there have a different view.

 

PS: It's not all rosy over here!  I have concerns that houses on new estates take up nearly all the block leaving little room for gardens and are being built without wildlife corridors for koalas etc. Am shortly taking this up with our newly elected local Councillors.

 

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Whyone?
9 hours ago, Game Warden said:

The Yardbirds?

They'll go down like a Led Zeppelin......

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Game Warden

 

"Wild your garden with Joel Ashton" is an excellent series of videos showing the changes both large and small that can be made to your garden to attract in birds, pollinators, wildlife etc. Just popped up one of his videos above but it's well worth looking through his channel for the others.

 

Matt

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wilddog

Now that I am dogless I think I am going to go get rid of the back lawn for a full wildlife garden to compensate for all the local concrete.... just need to get it dug over by someone.🙄

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Towlersonsafari

we also live in a village with a filed behind us- although very close to a town- and about 15 years ago a neighbour- quite innocently- removed a straggly shrub that house sparrows did not roost in, but used as something of a day gathering place- very unscientifically when we walk through an urban or semi rural area you sometimes come across a "singing ringing bush2 fll of chirping house sparrows and it seems to often be a semi evergreen or straggly bush, perhaps an unkept hawthorn, that they prefer.

once the neighbours shrub was removed, the sparrows that used our garden disappeared  , only appearing at breeding time to eat fat balls. about 3 years ago, a bush in our garden- we call it the "blue bush2 as it has blue flowers, grew sufficiently so that along with a flowering current it presented a sufficiently straggly appearance and since then we have about 10-15 every day. there must be a moral there.1

as for wildlife gardening, this year I dug 2 oval shapes in the lawn- about a spade lengths deep to remove the good soil- and planted wildflower plugs -to my amazement they seem to have thrived

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let's have a bring back hawthorn hedges campaign

Edited by wilddog
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Kitsafari

I live in a country where people seem to abhor wild gardens but love manicured well groomed and neatly and frequently trimmed bushes and grass fields. So when we decided to let our garden go to pot and all the weeds started taking over, our doorbell would always ring as the public grass cutters think we are in dire need of a properly cut lawn. but we are happy with it as in the evenings, the 2 zebra doves weave their way through their favourite grass seeds, 4-5 larger spotted doves sit in the grass to enjoy the sun, javan mynahs fly in to catch the worms when we take out the dead grasses and have a cool bath in the water in the plant pot tray, the yellow-vented bulbuls fly in when the noisy mynahs fly out, and the tailorbird and olive-backed sunbirds flit in and out of the flowers checking if there is still nectar. it's so peaceful watching them.  

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Soukous

Well done Kit

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Zim Girl
18 hours ago, Towlersonsafari said:

we also live in a village with a filed behind us- although very close to a town- and about 15 years ago a neighbour- quite innocently- removed a straggly shrub that house sparrows did not roost in, but used as something of a day gathering place- very unscientifically when we walk through an urban or semi rural area you sometimes come across a "singing ringing bush2 fll of chirping house sparrows and it seems to often be a semi evergreen or straggly bush, perhaps an unkept hawthorn, that they prefer.

once the neighbours shrub was removed, the sparrows that used our garden disappeared  , only appearing at breeding time to eat fat balls. about 3 years ago, a bush in our garden- we call it the "blue bush2 as it has blue flowers, grew sufficiently so that along with a flowering current it presented a sufficiently straggly appearance and since then we have about 10-15 every day. there must be a moral there.1

as for wildlife gardening, this year I dug 2 oval shapes in the lawn- about a spade lengths deep to remove the good soil- and planted wildflower plugs -to my amazement they seem to have thrived

 

We have a hawthorn hedge at the bottom of our front garden that the house sparrows use for exactly that purpose, very large groups will gather there during the day.

We also put aside a bed on the sunny side of our lawn next to the fence and planted wild flower plugs last year.  They did very well and we are hoping it does the same next year.

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offshorebirder

I wish we could ship North America's House Sparrows back to the Old World to make up for the losses.

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