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Hedge Sparrows (1 Viewer)


New member
Two bushes in my garden where blackbirds nest were getting out of control. I checked for any signs of bird activity and proceeded to careful cut the bushes back using a manual lopper checking after each cut that I was not disturbing any of our friends. I heard a chirping above me but there did not seem any bird or nest in bushes.
As I moved away to view my work approximately 8 hedge sparrows flew over my head. They did not seem to come from the bushes but flew into them.They seemed to say go away this is our home.
Half a dozen more sparrows flew across my garden and settled into the apple trees and another bush. The apple trees and other bush are opposite side of garden.
This is all took place this afternoon.
Could anybody explain what was going on please.
Am I allowed to continue to cut back the overgrown bushes or will the sparrows declare war. Any advice much appreciated.Many thanks

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
United States
Hi there and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum :t:

As for me, I do not do any hedge/bush trimming during the nesting season. It's hard to say whether your bushes are just a good hiding place for them. The birds won't declare war but they may find another area they feel safter in if you continue to trim.

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Hi Northwest and a warm welcome from me too.

I don't think they'll be Hedge Sparrows (otherwise known as Dunnock), as they are 'loners', so if they were sparrow sized, I presume they were House Sparrows, which do live in larger groups, if you're luck enough to have a colony!

They should have finished nesting now, so will probably be using the bushes for resting and roosting in.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I hope to hear about all the birds you see when out and about.


Old Berkshire Boy
It's fairly safe to assume that the blackbirds have finished breeding for this season and other species are more likely using the bushes as a safe refuge after feeding, and stay there to groom, rest and probably roost.

Eight hedge sparrows ( I use the old word Dunnocks ) is a good number to have in your garden.

The birds will return in time once your pruning has finished, depending how severe a haircut you give your bushes.


Picture Picker
Welcome to Birdforum! I am sure that you will find lots to interest you here and I hope that you enjoy your visits.

We tend not to cut hedges or prune between March to October.


New member
Many thanks for this lovely warm welcome and great advice. I was under the impression that it was safe to cut back at end of August so pleased to be corrected. The sparrows have forgiven me and arrived as usual this morning for their breakfast. My bushes look at a bit odd, half pruned but it is so good to have found this site as I suspect that my neighbours think that I am a bit odd as most of my garden is designed for wild life rather than to impress.

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