Page last updated at 09:50 GMT, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Drop in number of London sparrows

House sparrow
House sparrow numbers have fallen by 68% in London since 1994

The number of sparrows and starlings in London's gardens is continuing to fall, conservation charity the RSPB has said.

An average of 2.78 starlings and 2.41 sparrows per London garden were found in its Big Garden Birdwatch poll, down from 3.14 and 2.63 last year.

Traffic levels and a reduction in green spaces has been blamed for a 68% fall in the number of sparrows since 1994.

The RSPB said conservationists have selected 20 open spaces across London to grow grassland to support sparrows.

Its London spokesman Tim Webb said: "Birds are great indicators of the state of the world around us, so if they're suffering, we should take notice."

Despite the drop in numbers, starlings remained the most common birds in London gardens in the January poll, followed by woodpigeons and house sparrows.



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