Posted on 22 Comments

The ‘Umble Sparrer (Sparrow)


The ‘Umble Sparrer (Sparrow) - Cameos of Birdlife #8

sparrow song 
under the eaves ...
coming home

You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t recognise the House Sparrow, or it’s simple song - ‘Chirp’ or ‘Chirrup’. It makes a variety of other sounds, but they’re all chirps as well. It’s like a continuous conversation (chattering) going on in the background, all the time. But I miss it when it’s not there.

My earliest memory of birds is probably hearing the House Sparrow chirping under the eaves. Sadly in many places it is in decline and in some towns has disappeared altogether.

As regular readers know I sometimes throw in a song - sometimes it works ...

Where have the Sparrows Gone by Emily Barker


From her recent album, A Dark Murmuration of Words, Emily Barker examines our unconscious choices and unspoken prejudices, and essays the search for meaning in an increasingly loud, social media-driven world.

Featured Artist

The picture of a House Sparrow is by Carry Akroyd (1953) - a painter-printmaker whose images examine the relationship between humans, landscape and wildlife. Her representations of contemporary agriculture, botany and birds concentrate on colour, shape and balance.

Here is another example of her work and a short biography ...

Carry Akroyd (born 1953)

Audio Citation

The recording by Shaun Micklewright is used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 license. This and many more can be found at - Xeno-Canto - a website dedicated to sharing bird sounds from all over the world.

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Josie Holford
April 3, 2021 11:36 pm

Good to see spadgers getting their due!

April 4, 2021 4:11 am

Thank you Clive. Another beautiful post. The sparrow is so common even her that we tend to overlook them.

April 4, 2021 5:04 am

This was such a beautiful picture and haiku. Sparrows have totally disappeared in my hometown too. They say it could be due to the cellphone towers…

Mick Canning
April 4, 2021 11:19 am

Certainly in decline around here, sadly. ‘The mob’ descending on our feeders usually only number one or two at the moment, although we did see them in groups of eight to ten at times last year.

April 4, 2021 11:39 am

Nice post, Clive. I love House Sparrows, cheeky chappies! I remember when growing up here, someone calling them ‘spugs’ and the name has stuck! 🤣 I know they have been declining in numbers but they are the birds we see most often on the ‘fat balls’. They will be there now, queuing up on the top of the hedge! They don’t nest in my garden and I’m almost certain there are 2 separate families. In summer last year I counted 15 hanging around in the garden! Oh, and on a different note, the first butterfly, a Holly Blue, was dancing along the hedge yesterday in glorious sunshine. No heat today so I suppose it’ll be another few weeks before more appear here. Happy Easter!

April 4, 2021 5:55 pm

House Sparrows are a thriving introduced species here in North America, even in the desert Southwest. In fact, our neighbor’s palm tree is the nesting home for a breeding colony who use our garden as their nursery. It surprises me to hear they’re disappearing from their native territories.

Andrea Stephenson
April 4, 2021 9:13 pm

I grew up with sparrows in our garden and wherever we went. I remember feeding them in town centres and then they were just gone. I’m glad that we have a colony at the end of our street and it’s always cheerful to hear them.

April 6, 2021 12:09 pm

I enjoy your posts, with paintings, haiku, and recordings of birds. The video was interesting and sad to me. I have heard Emily Barker before, playing a song on Wallender; beautiful voice. Thanks for the post, Clive.

April 8, 2021 5:53 pm

[…] This cheerful hokku was composed by Clive Bennett. […]

martin smith
martin smith
April 15, 2021 6:09 pm

Thanks for the link to Emily Barker’s song

Christine Corver
April 20, 2021 12:44 pm

Beautiful music and text. Love the painting of this sparrow, masterpiece! And happy to mention, here in CH we do have many sparrows.