Plea to feed the East End’s Cockney sparrows, robins and wrens

AN urgent plea has gone out to wildlife fans to help protect some of Britain’s favourite songbirds in the freezing winter weather

Charity SongBird Survival warned that some species may be in danger of near extinction as a result of the cold spell.

It drew parallels with the winter of 1963 when more than 80 percent of Britain’s wren population died.

The charity in asking people in east London to put out food for songbirds. And they have even set up a special Twitter account, Saving SongBirds, to encourage people to care for birds like robins, wrens, bullfinches, sparrows and song thrushes.

Recent figures show that more than 60 percent of Britain’s songbirds have been wiped out in a generation. And the numbers of the tree sparrow are down 75 per cent.

SongBird Survival Chairman Clive Sherwood said: “The simple fact is that hard winters can have a greater effect than pesticides or any of the other actions of man on the numbers of songbirds.

“The smaller birds weigh only an ounce and they just cannot maintain their body heat.

Most Read

“We would urge people to put out high calorie food for them.”

Songbird Survival said that in addition to the cold weather there is the increasing concern over the number of birds killed by record numbers of predators like, cats, sparrowhawks, crows, grey squirrels and foxes. They said that well over 200 million songbirds are killed by predators every year or put another way, 20,000 songbirds are killed by predators every hour of every day in Britain. And they insisted immediate action was needed to properly manage the balance of Britain’s wildlife.

“We found that no fully experimental study on songbird predation has ever been carried out in the UK. We believe that we have been misled and that the loss of our songbirds and biodiversity is not just a national disaster, it is a scandal”.