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Among all the wild birds, house sparrows are unique in their close association with humans. Sparrows have successfully adapted to the human habitation accustomed to the available food and nesting sites. Earlier studies have proposed an inconsistency in the sparrow population in various habitats during the last decade. To identify the reason for the fluctuation in number of sparrows, an intricate study is needed on the factors responsible for the presence of house sparrows in a habitat. Previous studies have proposed the importance of nesting sites in the distribution and diversity of house sparrows. In this context, the present study aims at finding the association of the availability of nesting sites with the incidence of the house sparrow in Madurai district in the state of Tamilnadu. The survey was conducted for a period of 3 months, from August 2020 - October 2020, in 205 randomly selected sites in all the 13 blocks of Madurai District using the line transect method. Among the 205 sites observed, the presence of house sparrow was confirmed in 170 sites. The possible nesting sites were digitally documented. A high incidence of house sparrows was observed in Madurai west (703) and Melur (658), while the least population density was noted in Kottampatti (150) and Vadipatti (147) blocks of Madurai district. Six nesting sites were commonly identified which include eaves of buildings, ventilation holes, unused holes in buildings, unused pipes, thatched roofs, and climbers/veins on the walls of buildings. Pearson correlation coefficient showed a positive correlation (R = 0.9) between the prevalence of house sparrows and the availability of various nesting sites. The eaves of the buildings and the ventilation holes were found to be the most preferred nesting sites. The uncommon nesting sites were pipes and climbers/veins. House sparrows exhibit a high degree of adaptability and plasticity in their nesting behaviour to achieve reproductive success.
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