Builders merchants help tree sparrows with nesting boxes
LBS Builders Merchants are helping a local British Trust for Ornithology volunteer to provide vital nesting boxes for one of the county’s rarest breeding birds.
The tree sparrow may be mistaken for its more common cousin the house sparrow (tree sparrows have a distinctive brown cap and black spot on their cheeks) but the Tywi Valley now appears to host the largest population in Wales of this ‘red-listed’ species.
The tree sparrows do not wander far from the valley floodplain. Here, around the still or slow-flowing water found on the floodplain, they can find the preferred insects that adults feed to the young during the summer.
Nest boxes at key sites will benefit the tree sparrows, helping to supplement their preferred nesting sites in tree cavities, and provide a good opportunity to ring and monitor the birds. The project is being run by Charlie Sargent, who is a member of the Teifi Ringing group and a BTO licensed bird ringer.
Outside the breeding season, tree sparrows are dependent on seeds for food. Today natural sources of seed are less common and local residents in the Tywi Valley who feed the birds are helping the population survive though the winter.
The Council’s Biodiversity officer Isabel Macho said ‘often the action required to help a species is not complicated – here the generosity of LBS, by supplying material for nest boxes, will enable new and replacement boxes to be erected which will help ensure that this key population survives in the Tywi valley.”
BTO Welsh Officer Kelvin Jones said ‘this is an excellent example of local communities working together for the benefit of our local wildlife, not only for this generation but for the next’.
If you ever see tree sparrows please e-mail: Biodiversity@carmarthenshire.gov.uk.