After arriving home from the banding session yesterday I received two recovery reports from the Banding Office.
The first was of a House Sparrow found sick and very uncoordinated under a Rhododendron bush at the Karori Mall in Wellington. The woman finding it took it home and after some TLC it recovered and was released. The bird was banded and she reported the number to the Banding Office. It had been banded on the other side of the City in Puru Cr. in Kilbirnie on 17 May 2010. At 2734 days from banding it is the second oldest House Sparrow we have recorded. The oldest is one found dead at 2773 days. This is also the furthest we have had a House Sparrow travel even if it took an awful long time to get there.
There are two main possibilities for the bird's condition. There have been reports of a poisoning operation at the Karori Mall to control Sparrow numbers and it might have been a victim. Or it might have been sipping nectar from the rhododendron and been poisoned.
The second recovery report was far less spectacular. It was of a House Sparrow found dead about 2 km from its banding site in Littles Rd near Queenstown, only one year since banding.