Save our sparrows - your help neded to help vanishing species

House Sparrow
House Sparrow

RSPB Scotland and researchers at the University of Glasgow are looking for volunteers to help solve the mystery of the vanishing speuggies.

House sparrows were once a common sight throughout the greater Glasgow area, including Milngavie, Bearsden, Kirkintilloch and Bishopbriggs, but numbers are estimated to have dropped by a staggering 90 per cent since the 1970s.

Now, volunteers are needed to help track down the remaining birds, and discover more about where they’re living.

RSPB Scotland’s Toby Wilson said: “House sparrow numbers have been nose-diving across the UK in recent years, and Glasgow is following the trend.

“But parts of the city are still strongholds for these boisterous little birds, and we need help from the public to find them.

“Once we’ve got that information, we’ll be able to use it to put up specialised nest boxes, and help people to give house sparrows a home near where they live.”

Dr Ross McLeod of the University of Glasgow, who has been researching the sparrows’ decline, said: “House sparrows are one of those birds that most people will recognise, and they’re easy to identify.

“They have relatively short wings compared to their weight and so like to stay close to cover so that they can escape quickly if threatened. They seem to be flourishing in areas with bushy vegetation and plentiful food, but we’re in need of more sightings from the public to be able to confirm our current findings.”

Volunteer surveyors will be asked to set aside a morning every couple of months to look for and record house sparrows near where they live. No specialist knowledge is needed, and volunteers can take on as large or as small an area as they wish.

A meeting for anyone interested in finding out more about the project will take place on April 1 at the RSPB Scotland office near Charing Cross.

If you would like to attend, please e-mail or call 0141 331 0993.