Tuesday, 22 November 2022

House Sparrow - Winter Roost Survey

Despite being an abundant species in the UK, with an estimated 5.3 million pairs, the House Sparrow has declined by around 65% since the 1970s and is now on the Red List as a bird of conservation concern.

Bridport House Sparrows at a daytime hang-out.

In Bridport the species seems to be faring well but, partially due its tendency to nest on inaccessible private housing, no territory mapping was carried out during the 2021 breeding bird survey. It was the only red-listed species not censused. However, House Sparrows are largely sedentary birds, so data on winter abundance can potentially provide a useful measure of local population status, as well as being relevant to conservation given that winter survival of seed-eating finches and sparrows is a major cause for concern.

House Sparrows roost communally at night in winter, being rather noisy at roost sites until it is dark and therefore relatively easy to detect by their chatter. Bridport Bird Club plans to survey the entire recording area for roosts during the 2022/23 winter, once in Nov/Dec and again in Jan/Feb. We aim to map every accessible roost site and estimate the number of birds present, in this way producing baseline information on the population status of House Sparrows in the Bridport area.

How you can help...

It is highly likely that some roost sites will be in locations inaccessible to surveyors. If you are aware of House Sparrows roosting in your garden, at your place of work, or anywhere else that a survey conducted from public roads and footpaths might well miss, please do get in touch with us so that it can be included if at all possible (any records submitted from private property will be kept confidential), the only proviso being that the location falls within the boundary outlined on the recording area map below. Contact email addresses...

Tom Brereton:

Gavin Haig: