Take Part In The Cockney Sparrow Survey

By M@ Last edited 71 months ago
Take Part In The Cockney Sparrow Survey

Once a symbol of London, the sparrow is these days a rare sight in parts of the inner city. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) conducts an annual survey of house sparrow populations in London and wants your help with this year's count.

To take part, simply keep track of the number of house sparrows you see in a local park — or garden if you're lucky enough to have one — between 18 June and 12 July. Then fill in the RSPB's form here.

Our tip for spotting sparrows is to head along to ZSL London Zoo, which for some reason attracts the pluckiest avians we've ever encountered.

And, for the sake of inter-species balance, we should also point out that yesterday was Pigeon Appreciation Day. At least according to this attention-seeking pigeon.

Image by Luke Robinson in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Last Updated 14 June 2012

Donald Llyven

House Sparrows have disappeared in areas where their habitat has gone - as with any animal.
RSPB would be better to lobby Councils and Government about planning law, making it bird friendly.  But no, they keep up this pretence about a mystery in order to raise funds....
This just delays any real help being given to the poor house sparrow in the future.
I know of plenty of colonies where there has been no change in their numbers as the habitat has remained constant; and places where they have established themselves due to the correct habitat being made available.  RSPB told this years ago but, suprise, surprise, they're not interested!

Tim Webb

Dear Donald. Research IS underway to find out what habitat sparrows need and this survey is part of that, so please do send us your sightings. We need to know where they are so we can compare habitats with where they aren't, to establish just which habitats are needed. That isn't the whole story though. We really don't know with any certainty the exact cause or causes of decline. May I also add that we are working with councils, the UK Government and Europe and many others to encourage land management that benefits wildlife. Just because it's not in the media doesn't mean it isn't happening, and with more help, we'll be able to do it better and quicker.