Hot off the press from our Warden, Dave Aitken, the lowdown on how our tree sparrows have fared this season.  Get ready, here come the numbers:

  • 274 chicks successfully fledged from 40 active (contained eggs/chicks) nest boxes.
  • A total of 91 separate nesting attempts were made from those 40 boxes of which 79 fledged chicks (102 nesting attempts from 44 boxes in 2019 of which 83 fledged chicks).
  • 10 boxes had 1 nesting attempt, 12 boxes had 2 nesting attempts, 15 boxes had 3 nesting attempts and 3 boxes had 4(!) nesting attempts although only one of those was successful.
  • Average number of eggs per pair was 4.7 (same in 2019)
  • Average number of fledged chicks per pair was 3.5 (cf 3.3 in 2019)
  •  Overall outcome success was 87% (cf 80% in 2019). This is most likely due to the increase in the average number of chicks fledging per pair, even though fewer chicks fledged this year compared with 296 in 2019 but from more nests and more nesting attempts.

All in all It was a challenging season at times, we missed a few chicks/nesting attempts right at the start due to lockdown and there was rotten weather late spring/early summer which took out a few nests and again at the end of the season. Despite all this our sparrow factory continues to churn out more tree sparrows and the work we do on site to support them is a testament to their success. In addition our winter bird crop project is going to make a huge contribution to winter survival for them as well as so many other farmland birds.