Sparrows quickly disappearing from Danish countryside – The Post

Sparrows quickly disappearing from Danish countryside

Meanwhile, warm weather has attracted storks to Denmark

In rapid decline, and this time it’s not the fault of Chairman Mao (photo: iStock)
May 12th, 2016 12:05 pm| by Lucie Rychla
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The population of house sparrows in Denmark is in rapid decline, reports Kristeligt Dagblad.

According to the Danish Ornithologist Association, the little birds have been disappearing – particularly from suburbs, small towns and the countryside.

Their numbers have nearly halved to about 1.8 million in the last 40 years.

READ MORE:  Danish ornithologists hoping to restore nature on Funen

Lack of food
Meanwhile, the population of the Eurasian tree sparrow species has doubled to about 1.3 million.

Biologist Thomas Vikstrøm explains the Eurasian tree sparrow is better at adapting to changes in the environment.

“They are better at finding alternative sources of food in rural areas, where pesticide spraying and airtight-closed farms have made it difficult for house sparrows to get access to grain and insects from farm animals,” Vikstrøm told Kristeligt Dagblad.

The population of lashes and skylarks has also tumbled due to pesticide spraying and the fertilisation of farmland.

READ MORE: Eight new bird species breeding in Denmark

Storks in Denmark
On the other hand, the current warm weather and southeastern winds have attracted a flock of young white storks to Denmark.

Yesterday, seven of these black-and-white birds with long red beaks landed in a field near Fårvang north of Silkeborg.

However, Morten Hansen from the Natural History Museum in Aarhus warns they have arrived too late to start breeding and may even have problems finding enough food to survive here.

“They feed on large insects, frogs, reptiles and small mammals,” Hansen told DR.

“In a landscape where we consistently fight everything that is not grain, rape and corn, the stork has no chance.”

Hansen said the storks will have to get extra food, just like cows in the fields.