I miss him with his friendly ways,

Took him for granted in bygone days, 

Listened to his cheerful chirping,

Feeding young on fence posts perching.

Watched him checking out the leaves,

Heard him nesting in the eaves.

Home was London streets both broad and narrow,

Scrounging bits from market barrow.

At one time he was always there,

Bu now he is so very rare.

His absence fills my heart with sorrow,

So, why did you go quaint cockney sparrow>

There is probably a combination of factors governing the disappearance of the house sparrow (male pictured) including habitat loss, fewer insects at the crucial time of feeding young, pesticides and maybe toxic traffic emissions.

However, I think the main reason for his demise is lack of nesting sites because in the past few decades houses have sealed up eaves for insulation purposes thus denying the birds access, coupled with the grubbing up of garden privet hedges and vegetation.

The very title 'house' sparrow aptly reflects his life style as opposed to his close cousin the tree sparrow, also in decline in the countryside.

I know of four small but certainly viable sparrow colonies all of which use roof spaces in older properties, none of them having yet sealed off entrances to their eaves.