No kidding. I thought it was a joke at first, but no. Go to www.worldsparrowday.org and you can learn all about it. It turns out that the ubiquitous and largely ignored house sparrow we have in New Zealand is a prized native bird of the UK. It is also a native bird in worrying decline in the UK and southern India.
So, perhaps for a day we New Zealanders should pay a little attention to the house sparrows all around us. They are fascinating birds in their own right and have been amazingly successful in urban and rural landscapes throughout the temperate world. That some landscapes are being altered to the extent that they are pushing such a successful bird into decline should be of concern to all of us.
Log in to NZBRN and show the world how many bazillion sparrows we still have down here. The UK can have as many as they want.
Distribution map of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in New Zealand.
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Source: New Zealand Biodiversity Recording Network.