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Tag Archives barley


Commensal with humans for 10,000 years,

since the first cultivation of barley

and wheat, the house sparrow, that communal

eater of insects and seeds, is ubiquitous –

from Kolkata to Coventry, Haifa

to Hawaii – sometimes a pest, a pet

or on a plate; a symbol of lechery

or vulgarity – but in decline here

because of pesticides perhaps

or mobile phones, car parks, unleaded petrol.


Certainly, we miss the small flocks in the shrubs

and their rapid,