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16-MAY-2013 © Ron Asp

_DSC1696gf.jpg

Wetaskiwin County

The House Sparrow, sometimes called the English Sparrow, is common in urban areas: it thrives in close proximity to humans. The birds nest in cavities (including nest boxes), trees, and nooks and crannies of human-made structures where they are a common sight from March to August. Though still abundant, House Sparrows have been in decline in North America since 1966. This is good news for our native bird species.
Impact on Communities and Native Species

The House Sparrow competes with native bird species for food and nest sites. The species has been cited as one of the causes for the decline of Purple Martins in British Columbia. They are aggressive invaders and will forcibly evict a bird from its nest, sometimes puncturing eggs, and killing chicks or adult birds. The sparrow doesn't migrate so it can occupy choice nesting sites before native migratory birds arrive in spring.
Invasion History

The sparrows, native to Europe, were introduced to the United States in 1850 for two reasons: European immigrants wanted to see a familiar bird from their homeland, and farmers hoped the sparrows would control agricultural pests. Eight breeding pairs were introduced from England to New York in 1850. When these pairs failed to establish a population, 100 more sparrows were imported in 1852. These birds were successful, and other introductions followed across the eastern seaboard. Between 1850 and 1881, at least 1600 birds arrived directly from England. In fact, at one time the birds were so plentiful they appeared in markets for sale as food. The House Sparrow arrived in Canada in 1870 and in British Columbia around 1898. It is common across the province, particularly in the south around denser, larger cities.

Nikon D800 ,Nikonís 200-400mm f4 G VR AF-S IF ED Zoom Lens.
1/400s f/7.1 at 400.0mm iso1000 full exif

other sizes: small medium original auto
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