10 SEPTEMBER 1948, Page 17


MANY people must have noticed the comparative absence of sparrows from the harvest fields. At one time there was a huge emigration of sparrows from the towns—especially, I think, in the Midlands—to the country, and there they fell upon the standing grain. I have seen whole reaches of wheat decimated, at the lowest estimate, round the edges of a field next door to a small town. Doubtless the seasonal migration has not come to an end, but there is no question that in some districts, previously harassed, sparrows have been singularly few. Are we then to suppose that they are a diminishing species in the country if not in the town? And if so, what is the reason?