Monday, 3 March 2014

The London (Ex-) Tree Sparrow Partnership update


Had an interesting meeting last week with the objective to come up with a response to the current extinction of our tree sparrow population (there have been zero birds on site for about three weeks now- the final nail in the coffin was the floods flooding out our bird feeders and then the local thieves stealing the new feeders we put out) .

A few pairs might come back in the summer to breed so the plan is a cunning multi pronged mission to bring them back from the brink of extinction.

1. Clean the feeders more regularly to ensure we are not inadvertently killing them from concentration of pathogens at the feeding stations (unlikely as precautions are already taken)
2. Replace the feeders with second hand feeders that don't look like they can be flogged on e-bay by the local thieves
3. Maintain the summer feeding at the feeders at the three feeding stations on site
4. Plant a sacrificial crop to be ready for landscape scale feeding through the coming winter as part of the current restoration
5. Rotorvate areas of the mound to generate growth of pioneering plant species which are associated with Tree Sparrows natural food plants e.g. fat hen, mugwort, black meddick etc
6. Minimise the disturbance through ringing and monitoring this year to ensure there is no unnecessary stress on the critically vulnerable few remaining birds (if any return)

If the plan is implemented then I think there is a pretty good possibility that all is not lost.

The London Tree Sparrow Partnership
Birdwatch Magazine report on Beddington Tree Sparrows

Excellent summary of situation by Steve Gale : Beddington Tree Sparrows RIP

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