Endangered house sparrows thrown a lifeline at Waterlow Park
PUBLISHED: 17:01 06 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:21 07 September 2010
Camden s house sparrows are being thrown a lifeline thanks to a new partnership between the RSPB and Camden Council. House sparrows should be the UK s most common garden bird, but in Camden, the birds have slipped down to eighth place in the annual Big Ga
Camden's house sparrows are being thrown a lifeline thanks to a new partnership
between the RSPB and Camden Council.
House sparrows should be the UK's most common garden bird, but in Camden, the
birds have slipped down to eighth place in the annual Big Garden Birdwatch.
Waterlow Park should be a prime site for these small brown and grey birds, yet
they're sadly lacking.
Camden Council's one of eight partners from across Greater London who've
allowed some land in public parks to be used as part of a new RSPB study. Previous
research has found that sparrows are starving to death because naturally occurring
food is in short supply. This new study aims to restore nature's larder.
The £170,000 SITA Trust funded research project will be comparing how specially
selected seed mixes help boost insect and seed availability over the next three years.
House Sparrow Parks Research scientist Jacqueline Weir said: "House sparrow
numbers have fallen alarmingly. We know house sparrows need a high protein diet
when fledging and carbohydrate rich food when older. We'll be growing three
different seed mixes at twenty locations around Greater London. In Camden, we
have two test plots in Waterlow Park. Others nearby include a site on Hampstead
Heath and another on Primrose Hill. It's great to be working with Camden Council
and the Friends of Waterlow Park. With volunteer support we'll be monitoring the
sites and assessing the impact the different mixes have on sparrows, insects and
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