There is a widely held perception that the House Sparrow Passer domesticus is in serious decline in Britain. This is particularly the case in London, where concern has even led to questions in the House of Lords. On 1st December 1997, Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government 'Whether there has been a reduction in the numbers of sparrows in London; if so, to what is this reduction atributed?' (Hansard 1997); and on 3rd February 1999, Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government 'Whether they will repsond to the rapid reduction in the number of house sparrows, especially in London, and whether the cause has been identified?' (Hansard 1999).