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  • Writer's pictureWildlife Friendly Otley


I love the frequent din of sparrows arguing in our privet hedge – they seem more cantankerous than your average bird. Hopefully they are more appreciated now their numbers have fallen in both rural and urban areas (try spotting them in London these days). The Great Sparrow Campaign was one of four pest control schemes in the “Great Leap Forwards” in 1950’s China, but it’s believed it only resulted in increases in the insects they feed on. Ancient Greeks associated sparrows with Aphrodite, due to their perceived lustfulness, a theme both Chaucer and Shakespeare took up. Sparrows may still be nesting now in August – they have as many as four broods – no wonder they’re a bit irritable. They have been known to pluck feathers from live pigeons to line their nests with. House sparrows often nest in loose colonies, with nests as little as 20cm apart. A sedentary species, having hatched they generally spend their lives within 300 metres or so of that spot.

Photo by Pixabay


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