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Old 04-06-2015, 07:10 PM   #1
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Default want to prevent HOSP from building in a birdhouse

I hope everybody's been okay. I haven't been able to read much lately but have a question.

We have a birdhouse that a downy uses as a roost in the winter. In the past we've had chickadees nest in it.

So far this year we've only seen House Sparrows trying to use it. I seem to remember seeing something about an easily added attachment to the entry of a birdhouse which will keep the House Sparrows from entering but not scare the native birds.

Does anybody know where I can get this or have good ideas for other ways to prevent the HOSP from claiming the box. If there is no alternative I can leave the box open (created that way for cleaning it) so no bird can use it but that's not my first choice.

Thanks. -- Lori
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:34 PM   #2
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Monofilament (fishing line) I think is it?

Removing nesting material and doing it early in the morning when they are out singing over a few days might have them move on. I do this to prevent them from nesting in a vent thats open on my house.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:37 AM   #3
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Welcome back, loris! (If it makes you feel better, Even I am not on nearly as often as I used to be.

Here is a link: Managing House Sparrows (That should be the right page, if not explore the site a little more to find out how to build and install one.)

...I'm sad to report that, just five minutes before opening your post, I spotted both a European startling and a house sparrow right outside my window.

On a brighter note, I finally saw my bluebirds return to check out their favorite nest box.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:46 AM   #4
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I tried replying to this two times last night, but forgot about enabling scripts. Bah! I type a heap of words and it comes back saying I need to type at least three.

Wouldn't removing the nest cause aggression with the male HOSP, rockerBOO?

I think some use the sparrow spooker. I haven't tried it myself, but folk have success with it.
Sparrow Spooker designs and instructions

We have paired boxes for the Tree Swallows and Bluebirds. The HOSP were only interested in the swallow boxes. I heard somewhere that the HOSP do not like the Gilbertson boxes and in our case it looked to be true. We opened up the Tree Swallow boxes for a handful of days until the swallows returned. That was enough time for the HOSP to move on. We see a couple of males in the feeding area, so they are nesting somewhere, just do not know where.
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:30 PM   #5
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RockerBOO and Birding Bunch,

Those ideas sound good. Since my husband will probably do the actual work hell make the decision with input from me.

I have a feeling well try the fishing line first. Gilbertson boxes sound promising so maybe someday well buy one.

Dapjy, Im glad to hear about your bluebirds.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:40 AM   #6
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I normally don't have too many HOSP, but this past winter I noticed their numbers increasing. I didn't want to support their continued propagation, so I started trapping them using a repeating ground trap. It's not a process I enjoy, but I take the same approach as I would with any other invasive species. Since migration has started, I have put the trap away because I don't want to trap and stress out native birds. That took care of most of them, but there are still a few HOSP left so if I need to, I'll put the trap back out after migration is over. Another option is a box trap is HOSP have claimed a box. You can also put up a sparrow spooker, but I personally prefer to remove the invasives rather than just have them go elsewhere.
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gymell View Post
I normally don't have too many HOSP, but this past winter I noticed their numbers increasing. I didn't want to support their continued propagation, so I started trapping them using a repeating ground trap. It's not a process I enjoy, but I take the same approach as I would with any other invasive species. Since migration has started, I have put the trap away because I don't want to trap and stress out native birds. That took care of most of them, but there are still a few HOSP left so if I need to, I'll put the trap back out after migration is over. Another option is a box trap is HOSP have claimed a box. You can also put up a sparrow spooker, but I personally prefer to remove the invasives rather than just have them go elsewhere.
If they appear to be increasing, it's probably because somebody in your general vicinity has put up a single or multi-housing birdhouse without discriminating about what is allowed to nest in there. It's a problem I have long suffered with; indeed, a few years ago I trapped and eliminated over 150 HOSPs and still suffered from a healthy population. My neighbor's father built for him these fancy, and visually beautiful pole houses with multiple holes, and about four of them were place around his property, which amounts to two acres of land.

I fought the good fight for that period of time, but found that the distasteful eliminating of creatures without any desirable result to be enough to accept the situation and live with it.

Hopefully, your situation isn't similar, and you'll be able to keep the population under control...
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:02 AM   #8
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We have the repeating ground trap, but there was not a food that the HOSP would eat that all other birds ignored. They're country sparrows not city, so do not recognize white bread and popcorn as food.

Jack, do you have any raptor rehabilitation place near you? That's what we do with ours after we collect some. We do not use lead, so they are happy to take them. Even if you there is no permanent decrease in the population, you're helping the raptors.
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack View Post
If they appear to be increasing, it's probably because somebody in your general vicinity has put up a single or multi-housing birdhouse without discriminating about what is allowed to nest in there. It's a problem I have long suffered with; indeed, a few years ago I trapped and eliminated over 150 HOSPs and still suffered from a healthy population. My neighbor's father built for him these fancy, and visually beautiful pole houses with multiple holes, and about four of them were place around his property, which amounts to two acres of land.

I fought the good fight for that period of time, but found that the distasteful eliminating of creatures without any desirable result to be enough to accept the situation and live with it.

Hopefully, your situation isn't similar, and you'll be able to keep the population under control...
Good point, I'll keep an eye out for any new bird houses. Haven't noticed any in the immediate vicinity, but they seem to be attracted to the arbor vitae where they like to roost. Sometimes people are willing to listen if someone educates them on the topic. Have you spoken to your neighbor about the problem? Me, I wouldn't let HOSP take over my yard any more than I would let buckthorn or garlic mustard (also ongoing battles.) I can't control what others do, but I can control what happens in my back yard.
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Old 04-09-2015, 12:35 PM   #10
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Thanks, loris. I'm thrilled to see them back--especially after the bitter cold winter we had; I was concerned that they wouldn't return.

The stories of the house sparrow invasions and the fact that I'm seeing one or two here (along with a couple of European starlings) is extremely discouraging.

I'm sure that I would have a hard time trapping and killing them--I hope it doesn't come to that here.
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