The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas, et Prevalebit. THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 1882. The Sparrow Nuisance.
[.lssued at 4.30 p.m. j
“ What shall we do with our sparrows?” is becoming a very burning question indeed. The little birds were originally introduced into the colony at a greit expenditure, of pains, time, and money, but once here they took so kindly to the soil, and increased and multiplied so rapidly that we would at the present time give almost anything if we could be rid of them. Like the rabbit, they have proved r pest instead of a blessing, and farmers and gardeners alike are bent upon their extermination. In our own neighborhood their ravages have been keenly felt as many a gardener can testify to his cost. “ Look at those cherry trees,” said a gentleman to us the other evening, pointing ruefully to a number of trees ia bis long garden. “ Those trees have produced a hundred-weight of cherries every year for years, until this year, and this year the crop would have been equally good but for the sparrows. At it is, I have hardly any fruit at all.” Similar accounts are constantly to hand of the havoc wrought by the same feathered depredators amongst the oat crops. And yet we have been doing our best (individually) to abate the nuisance. “Sparrow pie ” has become popular in Ashburton, and sparrow netting a favorite amusement, Indeed, the sparrow netters must have done good service in reducing the number of the enemy. There is also supposed to be a Sparrow Club in existence, but we are afraid that the members are too apathetic to effect much good. At the last meeting called (at Shearman’s Hotel), we believe the secretary was the only person connected with the Club who put in an appearance. In Oamaru, the crusade against the sparrows is being most vigorously prosecuted. The newly formed local club has offered 5s for every 100 sparrows’ heads, and in one week lately nearly 3.000 sparrows’ eggs and 500 heads were received by the club. In Adelaide the sparrow is in as bad odour as in this colony. The Sparrow Commission recently laid a lengthy report on the question before
the South Australian Parliament. The Commission regards the sparrow as a great public enemy, and his suppression a great public duty. .They therefore recommend that it be compulsory on all owners and occupiers to destroy both nests and birds within their properties. The Commission further recbmmends that Sparrow Inspectors slpould be appointed to see the work of annihilation duly carried out, and tiiat the Legislature should enforce compulsory action, and that the. sister colonies be requested to adopt a simiUir policy. These are vigorous measures indeed, but the sparrow nuisance requires to be dealt with vigorously. Let us hope that the energetic example set us in other places may have the effect of stimulating our local club to renewed exertions.