House Sparrow – 2003-07 breeding

Passer domesticus – ADERYN Y TO – Breeding resident

Comparison with previous atlas:

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed266306
Breeding probable5079
Breeding possible5527
No of tetrads occupied371 (of 478)412 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads77.6%84.1%

The House Sparrow is known to most people, its extrovert character and strong association with habitation making it difficult to overlook. Nests are built in crevices, mostly in buildings but sometimes well-woven nests are built in shrubbery.

Those who took part in both the 1984-88 and 2003-07 surveys will have become aware of the increased number of breeding House Sparrows. Their distribution expanded by 11% and some colonies have grown. At the same time the urban numbers have decreased while suburban birds have flourished. Although modern and renovated housing has not provided suitable nesting holes, older stock and in particular farm buildings have provided favourable conditions. Between 1994 and 2007 the BBS calculated there was a 93% increase in Wales. The estimate of 3,500 pairs breeding in Pembrokeshire in 1988 is considered to have fairly represented the situation at that time. Applying the increase noted by the BBS to the distribution found by the 2003-07 survey, results in a new estimate of 7,500 pairs breeding in the county at the end of 2007.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports, which may contain more detail than shown here.

More about the House Sparrow in Pembrokeshire

House Sparrow – 1994

Passer domesticus – ADERYN Y TO – Breeding resident

1984-88
Breeding confirmed266
Breeding probable50
Breeding possible55
No of tetrads occupied371 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads77.6%

Mathew (1894) said of the House Sparrow that it was “a common resident but rather scarce in the mountain districts” while Lockley et al. (1949) considered it was “not numerous”, being absent from some villages.

Today it is found throughout Pembrokeshire in close association with man’s settlements, being absent from woodland and the mountain tops. House Sparrows are not usually found on the offshore islands, but they have bred on Ramsey (Lockley et al.) and on Skomer, in 1965 and 1966, and were resident on Caldey until about 1985, since when they have become sporadic. They are well distributed about the towns but sparse in many rural areas, in which they become concentrated where non-intensive poultry rearing makes an abundance of food available, Llanfallteg West being a good example. They flock around the fields and hedges during the autumn. An estimate of eight pairs per tetrad in rural and 40 pairs per tetrad in urban areas gives a county population of about 3,500 pairs.

House Sparrows wander as far out as Skokholm, where they were recorded in 34 years between 1933 and 1992, but have not been recorded from any of the remoter isles.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

More about the House Sparrow in Pembrokeshire

House Sparrow – 1980s winter

Passer domesticus – ADERYN Y TO – Breeding resident

The BTO winter atlas showed that House Sparrows were present in most 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84.

The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square.  The darkest blue represents over 65 birds.

The winter distribution was similar to the breeding range plotted in the 1970s.

Graham Rees 

Data collected by volunteers for the BTO. Lack, P. 1986 Atlas of wintering birds in Britain and Ireland. T & A.D. Poyser.

More about the House Sparrow in Pembrokeshire

House Sparrow – 1894

Passer domesticus

A common resident. but rather scarce in the “mountain” districts.

Mr. Dix writes: “Comparatively a scarce bird; during the severe weather last February, I did not notice more than three or four together at any time in the yards. Nothing has struck me more than the scarcity of this bird.” When we first went to reside at Stone Hall we had no Sparrows there. At length one or two appeared, and their increase was rapid. It was not until we one day visited Llanrian, on the north coast, that we saw Sparrows in anything like the numbers to which we have been accustomed in England. The old church tower there is thickly covered with ivy in which hundreds of Sparrows were harbouring and nesting.

The absence of cornlands, and the sparsely inhabited country, in which isolated mountain farms are far apart, would account for the comparative scarcity of the House Sparrow, in most places a far too abundant pest. Mr. Jefferys informs us that the House Sparrow is by no means common at Tenby.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the House Sparrow in Pembrokeshire

House Sparrow

Passer domesticus – ADERYN Y TO – Breeding resident

House Sparrow – 2003-07 breeding

Passer domesticus – ADERYN Y TO – Breeding resident Comparison with previous atlas: 1984-88 2003-07 Breeding confirmed 266 306 Breeding probable 50 79 Breeding possible 55 27 No of tetrads occupied 371 (of 478) 412 (of 490) Percentage of tetrads 77.6% 84.1% The House Sparrow is known to most people, its extrovert character and strong […]

House Sparrow – 1994

Passer domesticus – ADERYN Y TO – Breeding resident 1984-88 Breeding confirmed 266 Breeding probable 50 Breeding possible 55 No of tetrads occupied 371 (of 478) Percentage of tetrads 77.6% Mathew (1894) said of the House Sparrow that it was “a common resident but rather scarce in the mountain districts” while Lockley et al. (1949) considered it […]

House Sparrow – 1980s winter

Passer domesticus – ADERYN Y TO – Breeding resident The BTO winter atlas showed that House Sparrows were present in most 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84. The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square.  The darkest blue represents over 65 birds. The winter distribution was similar […]

House Sparrow – 1894

Species account from the 1894 ‘Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands’ by Rev M A Mathew