Oh hapless birdie and Oh deed of bane! One of London’s favourite icons is in trouble. The nice birdmen at the RSPB inform us that the house sparrow, Cockney or otherwise, is in decline for lack of appropriate food. Chicks like the cheeky chappy to the left are starving in their nests quicker than jungle celebrities, as changing city habitats have led to a decline in suitable insects upon which to feed.
The threat to sparrows is nothing new, but without concerted and continued efforts to protect the species and enhance the inner city environment in its favour, Jack Sparrow faces a very serious challenge indeed: numbers have decreased by 68% since 1994. Which is lots. Chairman Mao would be rubbing his hands with misplaced glee.
Anyway, if you are a birdie type, the RSPB are running a sort of sparrow-spotting forum workshop thingy on the South Bank until the 30th November. But if you don’t have time to pop along, you can help by thinking feathered thoughts: there are a few simple wildlife friendly steps which the gardeners amongst you can take to help London keep its critters happy.
Aww! Baby sparrow from e3000’s Flickr stream under the Creative Commons Licence.