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Presumed Sparrows...House or Tree NE.London? (1 Viewer)

KenM

Well-known member
Probably about 15 years ago now, by which time House Sparrows had long ceased to be a garden, or even road visitors to the site.
During a Winter month on a typical grey day, I saw a very “tight flock” (almost touching), c30 birds fly straight past my window at head height, they were in total silhouette and there was “no bounce” to the flight!
I’ve never seen the likes of this tight formation, a sort of ellipse in overall shape and all moving so close and without any undulation, before or since!
Would this behaviour be considered unusual for Passer species?

Cheers
 

Richard Prior

Halfway up an Alp
Europe
I’ve seen House Sparrows fly like that Ken, particularly en route to a roost (and they go to roost earlier than most species to my knowledge). The other possibility is when they react to a predator, a case of « forget our pretty bounding flight, let’s get the h - - - out of here »!
 

KenM

Well-known member
I’ve seen House Sparrows fly like that Ken, particularly en route to a roost (and they go to roost earlier than most species to my knowledge). The other possibility is when they react to a predator, a case of « forget our pretty bounding flight, let’s get the h - - - out of here »!
Thanks Richard a great help! What I find remarkable is that I’ve never witnessed this flight behaviour before or since, not forgetting that we’re talking many many years! 👍
 

KenM

Well-known member
Yes, you seem to have dug way back into your memory bank with this one Ken;);)
I can still see my mother sweeping the carpet of House Sparrows with her forearm, from the outdoor folding tables in Victoria Park c1950....those were the days.😢
 

birdmeister

Well-known member
United States
Your description sounds all too familiar Ken, I've always used those speedy ellipses as a mark against the finches! HOSPs seem to just lumber along, with very little "pep in the step".:)

Wish I could send my little buggers your way. I'll probably have to keep my box down this spring in fear that they'll kill whatever tries to nest there. I've lost a Tree Swallow like that.:confused:
 

KenM

Well-known member
Your description sounds all too familiar Ken, I've always used those speedy ellipses as a mark against the finches! HOSPs seem to just lumber along, with very little "pep in the step".:)

Wish I could send my little buggers your way. I'll probably have to keep my box down this spring in fear that they'll kill whatever tries to nest there. I've lost a Tree Swallow like that.:confused:
You’ve got me thinking there Birdmeister! Clearly there has been a demise in Passer domesticus not just in the UK but also on the immediate Continent I believe.
I’m wondering if NA Sprows.are resistant to whatever is affecting Old World Sprows, might be some grounds for research in this area?
The last time I was in Central Park (NYC)’16, I had to sweep them off the table too...fond memories.👍
 

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