We have dozens of Sparrows in our garden at the moment. Every time you go near some bushes, a whole flock of them emerge. We always assumed that there was a mixture of Tree Sparrows and House Sparrows, but now we are not too sure. I thought I had a Tree Sparrow here, but the extra photo is of the same bird and the black bib and grey head are the give away - it's a House Sparrow. (And it's now raining, so too late to go and try and find another one.)
We had not really thought about how many Tree Sparrows we have, until we went to a Wildlife Trust talk last week and the plight of the species was described. I have now checked up on what we were told and it is a sad story.
Apparently the Tree Sparrow population has suffered a severe decline, estimated at 93% since the 1970s. Although data suggests numbers may have recently started to increase, the species is still classified by the RSPB as Red Status - of high conservation concern. The Tree Sparrow feeds on seeds, especially those of grasses and cereals, so more efficient farming practices and loss of hedgerows are seen as a cause of the decline.
I am sure that we do have Tree Sparrows around and perhaps we are doing our bit, by feeding them and growing natural hedges for them to nest in . . . and of course our garden is full of wild grasses!