07 January 2011

Help given for the Suffolk Sparrow

Simon Evans writes:

As most of us are aware, Tree Sparrows have suffered a dramatic population decline across the Country in recent times, for a number of reasons.
In an attempt to study the status and distribution of the species within the county, The Suffolk Wildlife Trust (SWT) launched a three year project in 2009 to investigate this diminutive little bird.

Funding has enabled a small band of willing volunteers to monitor known populations. For example, in 2010, funding from the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust has allowed for the provision of a seed feeder, nest boxes and two large sacks of seed, to a number of suitable locations across the west of the county. Provision of seed, year round, to supplement dietary requirements and the provision of nest boxes appear to be key to the survival of these birds in Suffolk.

Ringing and colour ringing of pulli and fledged birds has also been carried out where possible. Nearly 1250 birds have been ringed in the first two years of the project with a number of individuals noted to have moved between our known populations. We have also trapped five controls, all from Yorkshire that appear to have come to Suffolk for their winter hols!

So, please keep an eye on your Tree Sparrows and let us know if you see any colour ringed birds in the field. More information can be found on the SWT website.

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