While it's normally those pesky ravens over at the Tower that seem to get the most column inches these days, another species of bird close to Londoners' hearts is now hitting the front pages (ok, maybe not the front pages but definitely the first few inside pages).
The 'cockney' sparrows (i.e. the house sparrows of London), have been under threat for a while now, the main reason being that they are having trouble nesting thanks to all the flash new houses that don't have the "nooks and crannies" which older buildings might have had.
Last November the RSPB began the London House Sparrow Project and the results reported at the end of last week seem to show that "population sizes have dropped by more than half over the past two decades".
So what can you do to prevent the death of the cockney sparrow? Well, you could fit nesting boxes in your garden or allow a small part of your garden "to grow wild" as this "helps to provide the birds with undergrowth to forage in for seeds" (note: this is also a great excuse if your garden is a complete state and you haven't cut the grass in three years: "oh, I'm letting it grow wild to help save cockney sparrows").
Pop quiz: which football team has the cockney sparrow as it's official crest? Answer here.