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.
Crab or lobster pots (creels) provide the perfect solution for seaside sparrows!
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.
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.
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!
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?
I am an entomologist with a background in quarantine pests and invasive invertebrates. I studied zoology at Imperial College (University of London) and did a PhD on the population dynamics of a cereal aphid (Metopolophium dirhodum) in the UK. I spent 5 years with the British Antarctic Survey studing cold hardiness of Antarctic invertebates and 17 years with the Food and Environment Research Agency. My main interests now are natural history, photography, painting and bird watching.