The Decline of Sparrows and Starlings in Britain
Guest Post by Claire L Stott, the mind behind Grey Feather Photography
Starlings & house sparrows, you might think of these as rather ordinary birds, commonplace and a regular sight in any British town or city, but have you noticed these birds are not as numerous as they once were? Have you noticed your garden sparrows dwindle over the years?
In recent years both species have suffered serious and dramatic declines. They are far from becoming endangered (there are still over 5 million breeding pairs of house sparrows in the UK), however, the rate of decline in their numbers is nevertheless alarming.
It is estimated that populations of sparrows have decreased by at least 70% since the 1970’s and the situation for the starlings is just as bleak. Due to these trends both birds are now on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, meaning they are of greatest conservation concern. The reason for the plummeting population is not yet clear; it is thought to be partly due to the availability of food and nesting sites but this is only speculation and research is ongoing.
With this in mind perhaps it is time we took more notice and appreciation of these birds. They may not be the most exciting and colourful of our garden visitors but anyone who takes the time to watch them, can’t help be fascinated by them. Whether it’s watching a family of sparrows noisily gathered around a bird feeder or flocks of starlings dancing through the sky in one of their spectacular murmurations…
Act now and do your bit to help these fascinating creatures. Why not start putting out food for your garden birds or install nest boxes to give them the shelter they need to raise their young?
Claire Stott is the face behind Grey Feather Photography. It was in Malta some years ago where her interest in photography began. She now resides in the beautiful coastal town of Aberystwyth in Wales, where she lives with her husband and cats. Over the years Claire has self taught and developed her own unique style of photography. Her images feature bright, bold colours and her inspiration comes from her love of all things nature! Aside from photography, Claire’s other passion is for animals. In her spare time she volunteers for the Cats Protection League and the RSPB.
*Facts & figures sourced from the RSPB http://www.rspb.org.uk
All images copyright of Grey Feather Photography 2015 © www.greyfeatherphotography.com