Print page

Cockney Sparrow Count

Last modified: 01 June 2012

Male house sparrow on guttering

Have you seen a Cockney Sparrow?

Thank you ... for helping London's house sparrows by taking part in our Cockney Sparrow Count.  

The survey has now closed.

We’ve heard where sparrows are, and where they’re not. The data will create a map showing hot spots and black spots based on your eye witness reports.

All participants will be sent a summary of the findings, and suggestions, based on our research, on how to better support the wildlife that lives alongside us in London.

The Urban Birder David Lindo helped launch the survey with this video:

This video requires Adobe Flash Player version 9. Download it for free.

A bird in decline

The cockney sparra has lived alongside us for hundreds of years and was once a regular fixture in our London gardens, parks and squares. It was so beloved by Londoners that it was incorporated into cockney rhyming slang - bow and arrow. Sadly, its squabbling chirps became dimmed as their number fell.

Ten years ago Londoners told us about the demise of the cockney sparra. We're asking Londoners to take part in the Cockney Sparrow Count to discover how things have changed.

In London, we lost seven out of every ten house sparrows between 1994 and 2000. The reasons are complex and our research is focusing on ways to reverse that decline.

Counting sparrows

In the summer of 2002 we launched the 'Where have all the sparrows gone' survey, which asked Londoners to tell us if they had house sparrows in their gardens or local green spaces. The results painted a sad picture, with a stark absence of sparrows in the centre of London.

The sightings you recorded for the Cockney Sparrow Count will show us what difference a decade has made. Your information will help inform future efforts to save sparrows in London and across the UK.


The project is being run in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust, Greenspace information for Greater London (GiGL) and other members of the London Biodiversity Partnership.

For more information about the survey, please e-mail:

How you can help

Tell us about your garden and we’ll provide you with tailored wildlife-gardening advice!

Bird guide



Cockney sparrow counting sheet (443Kb)
Print out our handy form to help you with your count.


Share this