I've gone from a great variety of birds in my garden to only sparrows and wondered if there was anything I could do to bring the variety back? I think it started because the sparrows nested in the garden and have now crowded the other birds out. There's now about 30 of them devouring everything I put out and taking up every port on the feeders so no others get a look in. The irritating bit is that they seem to be really fussy eaters and throw most of the seed on the floor!
I did spot a goldfinch once and rushed out the shop to buy a nijer seed feeder but he never came back. I've now removed it again because it was still full two months later...
Will it be winter before the tits, robins et al return or am I stuck with the messy sparrows chucking seed into the flower beds? (don't worry I'll carry on feeding them!)
My Flickr photos
I've tried just sunflower hearts and they just get left until literally everything else is gone. I've avoided seed trays because we do get the occasional wood pigeon and they will just eat until they can barely walk, let alone fly. I watched this morning and reckon there are around 50 sparrows in the garden and I think they all live here as they're nearly all young ones. I've read they're in decline but not in my garden! I'll try the black sunflowers again but haven't had much success in the past and just use a seed mix.
House sparrows aren't in decline. The long term trend is down. But, in rural, village type areas, they have been booming due to 24x7x365 feeding and available next sites. Even in areas where there was ongoing decline, that has slowed. Their numbers will never recover to the 1970s level. Gardens have gone from huge swathes of their former strongholds, never to return. But, figures for the last few years do not, as far as I am aware, show any national decline.
I'll partially correct myself this morning. This is the actual trend broken down.
BTO House sparrow trend
I think TJ may have posted similar fairly recently?
It shows in UK since about 2000, the UK population has been pretty consistent, and infact, between 2006-2016 it's shown an insignificant little increase.
As prev, although important to remember past populations, it's also important to keep things in context and also take into account more recent trends. We are never going to see 1970's and 1980's levels with species that co-exist with humans. Things have moved on. Same as it's a waste of time comparing O Levels with GCSE's.
As well as "population changes in detail", the "population trends by habitat" is very informative. e.g. where I live fits in with the three biggest towers of increase between 1995-2011 so I'm not just imagining seeing more sparrows in my lifetime now compared to previous years.
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