Where have all the House Sparrows gone?
In my lifetime their numbers have collapsed so there is just one House Sparrow now, where once there were three.
Their once familiar, noisy, gregarious antics are becoming strange to us, as we lose the connection we once had to one of our previously common birds. That’s a desperate blow to those of us who care passionately about people’s connection with the natural world. The simple connection possible with a small bird on the pavement or in a yard can influence someone’s whole attitude to wildlife and nature.
As the scientists would put it: “Routine experience of nature in cities can increase personal commitment towards biodiversity conservation”, at least that’s what they say here. Without a connection to Sparrows, we care less about every other living thing.
Sparrows are a gateway drug to hardcore conservation.
Since 1970 their numbers have declined by 66%. That’s the evidence from The State of the UK’s Birds 2017.
That could be due to lack of food, for adults or chicks, increased pollution, lack of nesting sites, disease or predation. In one simple questionnaire 25% of respondents said they had blocked up gaps in roofs where Sparrows could nest.
They are no longer House Sparrows. They are Houseless Sparrows.