The Spot a Sparrow - Report a Roost project was launched today by Birdlife and the Inspire Foundation.

The project is intended to get the public’s help to protect the birds' roosting trees by reporting sparrow sightings in their area.

Photo: Aron Tanti, BirdlifePhoto: Aron Tanti, Birdlife

Spanish Sparrows (għasafar tal-bejt) are one of Malta's most numerous and well known birds.  They are very sociable and in winter gather in huge numbers at dusk to spend the night in large, leafy trees.

The project aims to compile a complete map of these roosting sites across the islands to ensure the trees are better protected.

'Spot a Sparrow' is encouraging the public to report their sightings and share their sparrow stories on the interactive website www.spotasparrow.org .

The SOS Malta funded project has provided bird identification and survey training for a group of adults with disabilities. These volunteers will make follow up visits to sites submitted by the public to verify whether they are indeed sparrow roosts.

Once the newly trained researchers from Inspire have verified a roosting site, it will change colour on the online map. The long term objective is to use the information gathered from the public to highlight the importance of these trees to the Government and local councils, helping to protect them from development.

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