Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 02/02/2011

Red Alert!

It’s amazing to think that this once prolific bird has now been placed on the Red List, using the RSPB’s traffic light system for highlighting the need for conservation of the various bird species in the UK. This indicates that there has been a severe decline in the number breeding pairs in the UK over the past 25 years, something that is affecting a large percentage of small birds throughout the country.

More often than not, before seeing Sparrows (House Sparrow or Passer domesticus, in this case), you will hear their distinctive chirping emanating from a bush or tree. Gregarious by nature, there always seems like there’s a squabble going on with these noisy birds and it’s sad that these once abundant birds are in decline.

There are many LBJ (Little Brown Jobs) in the UK, a bird watching term that refers to a small brown bird that could not specifically be identified, however not something you could really level at the House Sparrow. Sure on first appearances, it looks rather drab, but what I’ve come to appreciate through my photography is that what ever the colour, the intricate and subtle colourations of any bird are a wonder to behold. Admittedly, the once common Sparrow cannot compete with the rich and colourful plumage of a Blue Tit or a Jay but what it lacks in colour it more than makes up with noise. That reminds me of a song…. all together now



  1. This information saddens me. I have many that flock to my feeder here across the pond. I will think more kindly of them when they hog the feeder, pushing out the House Finch!

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