http://ow.ly/u05s30o7Knr I have fond memories of sitting with my parents in the beer garden of the #RoyalInn,
#VictoriaPark in #Hackney,
watching the sparrows (of which there were many) scurrying around my feet as I distributed treats from my packed lunch.
Where have they disappeared to? Like the 'elephant's graveyard', the vanishing of these friendly little creatures is both a mystery and a cause for concern and regret.
And then, a few days ago I discovered that March 20 is World Sparrow Day.
Would the answer be here?
The house #sparrow,
I learned, is a bird of the sparrow family Passeridae, found in most parts of the world.
Given the wide geographical spread of a sparrow, it is perhaps unsurprising that the 'champion' of this tiny bird, Mohammed Dilawar, is a native of #Nashik
- an ancient holy city in the northwest region of #Maharashtra
Founding the Nature Forever Society, Md. Dilwar began campaigning for the conservation of sparrows and other common urban birds under threat.
The first World Sparrow Day was celebrated in 2010, with activists in many countries taking up the cause.
Initially celebrated with events like art competitions and awareness campaigns, the NFS's initiative has broadened to include collaborative scientific research into the causes of the decline of once common birds like the house sparrow.
claim that, in London, sparrow numbers fell by 60% between 1994 and 2004.
The house sparrow is now on the red list of conservation concern and a priority BAP species.
Research in London and Leicester is trying to identify causes of the urban sparrow decline.
I saw my first house sparrow for a considerable time near my workshop at #CannonWorkshops
a few weeks ago.
Unfortunately, it appeared to be losing the battle for scraps of food to dozens of feral pigeons!
Antique print Illustration from Rev. Francis Orpen Morris's 'A History of British Birds' courtesy of Frontispiece Ltd.