Eek, not sparrows!

Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 09:29 pm
There's an article in the Guardian today describing the losses in the sparrow population in Britain. The decline is attributed to a complex of situations - the removal of trees, conversion of gardens for parking, the presence of a lot of evergreen hedge and screen plant material - in particular chamaecyparis leylandii, or "leylandii", and use of pesticides, resulting in too few insects to keep the birds going.

I quickly looked up "leylandii", since I planted a swath of those in my own northern california yard, and have specified them for clients as.. yes, hedges and screens. Turns out they're a mix of Cupressus macrocarpa, Monterey Cypress, and Callitropsis leylandii (well, I sort of knew that but, hey) - both CA natives. Plus, the sparrows aren't CA natives. Still, I feel badly about the loss of much of the sparrow population in Britain.

Article here ---
Guardian article on sparrows

More about Leyland Cypress here -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leyland_Cypress
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Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 10:43 pm
Maybe it's too many cats! My cat loved sparrows! Them's easy catchin and good eatin!
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 11:21 pm
Now that you mention it...
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Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 07:11 am
Oddly, we can hunt sparrows in Michigan, but not doves. Not trying to derail the thread - just something I always thought was kinda weird.
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Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 07:24 am
i watched a very interesting show about the effect of cats on small wildlife in england

a research team spread out around the country and had people keep a diary of all the kills there cats had made for a year period, the information was pretty impressive, i'll see if i can find the name of the show
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 10:47 am
Our cats, who were all in-and-outdoor cats, weren't all that interested in bird catching. One never did, one rarely (once every two years?), and one somewhat less rarely (once every few/several months). I was a mad gardener back then and would have found any remains of the day. But I can well imagine the haul of a devoted birding cat.
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