Sparrows are some of the most beloved birds around. After all, they’re everywhere – or at least they used to be.
In recent years, house sparrows – the most common sparrow breed – have been on the decline. Here are 5 surprising things you don’t know about sparrows – and how you can help them thrive again:
Sparrows love to socialize
As one of the most social bird species, sparrows create their own flocks, take communal “dust baths,” and often build their nests side-by-side with their friends – adorable, right?
They’re true romantics
Sparrows are known to choose one mate and stick with them for life. Once they start their own little bird family, males often help females cover their eggs and even feed the babies once they hatch.
Sparrows evolved to live with humans
These birds don’t just like other sparrows – they’ve lived alongside humans since the stone age! Sparrows have evolved in order to digest starches – they love feasting on leftover human food.
They play an important role in the ecosystem
Sparrows are key players in the food chain. While adults usually eat seeds and grains, they’re also known to eat insects, which helps with pest control.
In fact, they even helped save New York City’s trees when they were being destroyed by green inch worms!
Flowers also benefit from sparrows – the birds help spread pollen when they fly around their neighbourhoods.
Sadly, sparrows are disappearing
The sparrow population is declining, and many of the reasons are man-made.
World Sparrow Day lists “the destruction of its habitat, to lack of insect food for the young and even the increasing microwave pollution from mobile phone towers” as main reasons behind the sparrow’s decline. Living in urban areas might also be speeding up sparrows’ level of cell damage, thanks to free-radicals and pollution.
Help sparrows thrive again!
- Plant trees. While sparrows don’t live in unpopulated forests, they do love urban and residential trees. They also like to make their homes in nest boxes!
- Get a bird feeder. You can help sparrows get the nutrition they need by keeping your bird feeder stocked with sunflower seeds, millet, corn, and peanuts.
- Take action to improve the environment. An eco-friendly lifestyle benefits everyone on this planet, but especially species like sparrows who are at risk of disappearing.
Sparrows are often taken for granted, but it’s time we all do our part to protect these incredible little birds!
Read about more animals who need our help:
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