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Mar 29, 2015

House Sparrows and European Starlings numbers still plunging

Photo by Andrew Rhodes / Alamy
The Royal Society for the protection of Birds has reported the results of its 36th annual 'Big Garden Bird Watch'.  While some numbers were bright spots, others were not.   House Sparrows and European Starlings have continued their dramatic decline in population, with House Sparrows declining almost 60% since the survey began in 1979 and starlings plunging by 80% over the 36 years.   Scientists are troubled and say changes to farmland management and good habitat losses are the primary factor in falling populations.   While still widespread, the two species are actually on conservation watch lists.   Who would have imagined many years ago that these two ubiquitous species could face a questionable future?   In Canada and the U.S.A., starling populations have had a 41% cumulative drop in numbers over a 44 year period (1966-2010) according to the American Breeding Bird Survey.   Dramatic changes like this have become common knowledge but little has been done so far to address the underlying causes.

                                                              Photo by BarrytheBirder
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