Where have all the sparrows gone?

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Giuseppe Tasso

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Where have all the sparrows gone?
« on: 30/05/2008 09:15:01 »
Giuseppe Tasso asked the Naked Scientists:

I have been lately in the UK. I am an amateur bird watcher. What I noted that compared to the  avian fauna in the urban parks in Italy or other European nations, in England you see very few sparrows. Do they have epidemics lately?

Thank you in advance for your attention

kind regards

Giuseppe Tasso


What do you think?

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Offline Make it Lady

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Where have all the sparrows gone?
« Reply #1 on: 30/05/2008 17:21:54 »
This has been of great concern to the RSPB. I have heard two explanations but I'm not sure if both or none are correct. Firstly, the sparrows are affected by the rise in the use of unleaded petrol. Not sure why. Secondly their habitat has been reduced massively. More people are cutting down their garden hedges, which provides them with the communal nesting grounds that sparrows love, and putting up fences. Also farmers have removed hedging around arable fields in order to get maximum yield.
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Offline Make it Lady

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Where have all the sparrows gone?
« Reply #2 on: 30/05/2008 17:24:40 »
Oh, I forgot one, radiation from phone masts has also been linked to their loss.
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Where have all the sparrows gone?
« Reply #3 on: 30/05/2008 17:36:19 »
Look at the research done by Kate Vincent at Liecesters Demontford University. She has found that urban sparrows are unable to support a second or third brood of chicks in order to keep sparrow numbers up. At the moment it is thought that large insects and beetles that are in plentiful supply for the first brood are not so available for the second and third lot. She is doing more research to find out conclusively. This seems to be the best results I can find. Country sparrows are now doing much better.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.