Pheasant by Julian Bhalerao
RSPB Spotlight Sparrows

RSPB Spotlight Sparrows

Amy-Jane Beer

Sparrows are often considered familiar to the point of invisibility, but the recent steep decline in numbers of both native British species is a reminder that these unassuming chatterboxes deserve a little more attention.

Of all the true sparrow species found worldwide, only two occur in the British Isles: the House Sparrow and the Tree Sparrow. Globally, the story of the House Sparrow is one of dramatic expansion from humble origins in the Middle East; while the smaller, more active Tree Sparrow has also spread extensively. Both species have been heavily persecuted to surprisingly little effect until recent years.

In Spotlight Sparrows, Amy-Jane Beer examines the causes behind the recent decline of these familiar species, and explores their biology and life cycle, social behaviour, and the significant role that sparrows play in human culture, from classical civilisation to Shakespeare, Edith Piaf and Captain Jack Sparrow. 128 pages.

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