Harbour sparrows

House sparrows (Passer domesticus) male and female on lobster pot or creel
House sparrows (Passer domesticus) male and female on lobster pot or creel

Much has been written about the demise of House Sparrows in the UK, which according to the BTO have declined in numbers by nearly 71% since 1977 (1). There are a number of reasons for this decline, including increased pollution, increased predation by resurgent sparrow-hawks and a loss of suitable nesting sites.

House sparrow (Passer domesticus) female on lobster pot
House sparrow (Passer domesticus) female on lobster pot

Crab or lobster pots (creels) provide the perfect solution for seaside sparrows!

House sparrow (Passer domesticus) male on lobster or crab pot
House sparrow (Passer domesticus) male on lobster or crab pot

They can quickly dive into the protected interior of the pots to avoid predation. The pots clearly provide a safe haven for the birds. They dive in and out as people walk past.

House sparrows (Passer domesticus) on lobster pots. Scarborough
House sparrows (Passer domesticus) on lobster pots. Scarborough

I’m not sure if the birds nest inside the pots. I think they probably retire to one of the ivy covered buildings nearby to roost.

House sparrow (Passer domesticus) male on lobster pot, Scarborough
House sparrow (Passer domesticus) male on lobster pot, Scarborough

There are no shortage of creels for the birds to hide in. As long as they don’t linger and get taken out to sea as crab bait!

Crab pots or creels, Scarborough harbour
Crab pots or creels, Scarborough harbour

The sparrows certainly seem to like these creel pots because they are always to be found there. Whether birds in other, non-coastal sites, would benefit from a few lobster pots being placed for their protection, I cannot say. But perhaps it is an idea worth considering?

  1. http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/gbw/about/background/projects/sparrows

2 thoughts on “Harbour sparrows

  1. Peter Reed

    I suppose they might find food sources in them too – bits of dried crab bait, insects etc.? Great, clear photos. Peter

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