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