Do you have feathered friends in your Naturespace?

HOUSE SPARROW SURVEY

Getting Ready for your Survey

In this survey you will be recording house sparrows in your Naturespace. We recommend completing this survey in the morning as this is when sparrows are most active, but you can survey at any time during daylight. You can repeat this survey as often as you like, all year round. This survey should be completed in dry and calm (not windy) weather. You can take our quiz to test your skills at identifying the house sparrow.

The final section of this survey is about whether there are sparrow nests in your Naturespace and how they are being used, including nest boxes and natural nests. If you don’t know, don’t worry – you can tell us that. If nests are actively being used, then they will be regularly visited by a breeding pair of house sparrows between April and August. To find nests, watch the flight path of the house sparrows as they carry food back to the nest/nest box and listen out for the sound of regular calling (‘chirping’). You may have already observed some of this behaviour whilst completing the activity survey.

What you will need to conduct the survey

Spotter's guide

Download the spotter's guide to help you identify the correct species.

Survey form

Download the survey form in case you don't want to fill it in online whilst outside.

Paper & pencil

You need to make notes doing the survey, so have paper and a pencil handy.

Camera

Take lots of photos during the survey, so you can take a closer look or share them with us.

(optional)

How to Take the Survey
  • Find a place where you can sit comfortably for 20 minutes with a good view of you Naturespace, but without being too visble to the birds. This could be either indoors or outdoors (eg against a wall or a hedge, but not in the middle of an open space).

  • Once you are settled, record your start time and spend 20 minutes surveying.

  • Count the maximum number of male and female house sparrows that you see at any one time.

  • Count how many of the male sparrows are ‘chirping’, as this is an indication of them holding territory.

  • At the end of the survey, double the total number of males recorded. This will give us an estimate of the overall number of house sparrows present. If you don’t see house sparrows in your Naturespace, please make a note in your table by putting zero.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU DIDN'T SEE HOUSE SPARROWS...

If you didn't find any evidence of house sparrows, it is still useful for us to know this result so we can build a clearer picture about house sparrows in your area. You can repeat this survey as often as you like, all year round. If you conduct this survey once a month across the whole year, then you can see how the numbers change both during and outside the breeding season (April to August).
If you would like to find out how to do more for birds in your Naturespace check out the house sparrow species page.

©Earthwatch 2020  

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Unless otherwise credited, all illustrations © Chris Shields, and all wildlife photographs © Steven Falk
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By selecting one or more of our five priority species, you can help us find out more about their life cycle and how their habitat affects them, and access specific activities to help you support that species.
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