The sparrows are dying and now we know why

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The sparrows are dying and now we know why

I have noticed this phenomena where I live, historically there were flocks of sparrows, now they are rare enough to make you take notice.

Until now no one really knew why, and they most common explanation was disease or sickness.

But now scientists may have the answer....

... Quote:
Sparrows are granivorous birds - they live on grain and other seeds (and the bread that is made from grain, when we put it out for them). However, when they are very young, in their first week, the chicks need animal protein in the shape of small grubs, flies, aphids and spiders.

Over three years, Ms Vincent, 28, put up more than 600 nestboxes on houses in Leicester and the city's suburbs and her remarkable finding was that, in the summer, completely unseen by the outside world, considerable numbers of sparrow chicks were starving to death in the nest.

Furthermore, those whose diet had consisted largely of vegetable matter - seeds and scraps of bread - were much more likely to die than those whose diet had plenty of invertebrates. (With 50 per cent insects, they had an 80 per cent chance of surviving. With no insects, they had only a 30 per cent chance.)
By netchicken: posted on 7-2-2006

What's happening with the insects? Weather changes are killing them off? When we get a late freeze, many insects die. Or if there isn't enough spring rains we see less mosquitos.

Whatever it is, I'm sure it's affecting more then the birds.
By YCON: posted on 8-2-2006

I think all the bugs are dying because of pesticides and destruction of their habitat in cities. Maybe its a sign, like the dying frogs, that things in nature are not so 'usual', and that humanity is having a massive effect on wildlife.
By netchicken: posted on 8-2-2006

Right, man has destroyed many insects with their pesticides and chemicals in the air. The west nile virus, they spray in the cities to kill mosquitos. Your right, this is probably more of a problem then the weather changes.
By YCON: posted on 8-2-2006

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