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Jun 21, 2010 7:24 AM CST
Name: Lance Gardner
coastal plain Virginia
Question authority, guide in wisdom
From the article: It is recommended to check your birdhouse once a week to see how the residents are doing, and to ensure that house sparrows are not using it. If you see the invasive (not native, therefore not protected) sparrows using the box, remove their nests. If they rebuild, plug the hole for a week or so until they give up. For really persistent problems, check out other sources such as, and let me know what works. House sparrows and starlings are very aggressive, and will kill the eggs, babies, and parents, so they must be removed.
So yes, Eurasian house sparrows are a serious problem and should be eliminated by any means you can. I don't want to promote inhumane methods, but what house sparrows do to native birds when they find them in a box is rather horrible, so whenever you can remove the sparrows, you should. I will eliminate 3 types of birds in my own yard, sometimes even using an air rifle or pellet gun - starlings, house sparrows, and cowbirds. Cowbirds are almost native around here, being more of a plains bird, but are also nest parasites responsible for the loss of a large number of songbirds.
For house sparrows, there are also traps you can buy or make, and sparrow spookers you can put up on bluebird houses. Check out the links in the article, and you can also do a google search using keywords such as 'sparrow spooker bluebird', 'house sparrow trap', 'bluebird house pest', and similar.
I personally do not have much of a problem with bird pests because I am in the middle of the woods, so I can't really offer first hand experience methods. So the best I can suggest is to try different things, and please let me know and others reading this section know what works for you. My final thought is that, just like weeding a garden, bird house maintenance and pest elimination is exactly that: maintenance. Therefore, you will need to keep doing whatever works in the interest of protecting our native birds.
I hope you find a method that works well for you. Smileys from my son. Rolling my eyes. Sticking tongue out Drooling Group hug Smiling Hilarious! Hurray! I tip my hat to you.
Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground -- the unborn of the future Nation. The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations.
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