Jack the Sparrow

“Jack the Sparrow”, House Sparrow (passer domesticus), 2010.

Sparrows are very common, at the point they’re considered as pest sometime. However, the fact that they’re disappearing at fast rate in some places shows how close we are from ecological disaster.

It was been noticed indeed, that sparrows are disappearing from big cities, but also from countryside, especially where intensive agriculture is present. In Paris, the population of sparrows had been cut by 75% in ten years (data: CORIF/LPO) and it is more or less extinct in several other European big cities, like London, Hamburg, Amsterdam or Brussels.

The cause of this extinction is not firmly established yet, but it has been linked to the external thermal insulation on houses, which deprive the sparrow of places to nest, as well as the overuse of pesticides, which sterilize whole regions of insect, thus depriving birds of food.

Between 1952 and 1968 in China, the sparrow was exterminated, because it was included in the “four great pest”campaign of Mao Zedong. The absence of the sparrow contributed to an ecological disaster which affected the harvests, with millions people starving to death as a result. The sparrow was then removed from the list to prevent this to happen again. It gives an idea of what could happen if bird’s population, including sparrows, continue to collapse.

Tools and exifs:

  • Canon EOS 450D + Canon 55-250 IS
  • 250mm
  • 1/250 s.
  • f/8
  • ISO 200

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