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Old 02-12-2010, 07:03 PM   #21
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Something I found of interest/relevant to the conversation here is at ;

*Controlling House Sparrows at the Bird Feeder - Bird feeders, squirrel proof, seed tube, thistle, recycled, Wild Bird Habitat Store

Now I have a thread down on tips , experiments where am attempting to get people to discuss specialty feeders designed either for specific species of birds . Sparrow resistance is but one aspect of concern to many . Lets see what we can derive from some other of these sites and come up with some inexpensive ways to come up with to at least put up a passive fight . It seems that many do not have it in thier hearts to kill even HOSP's . So at the VERY least learn what you can do to NOT feed them . With some exploration, pooled intelligence should get us further on this path .

LURKERS join in the discussion . Here or at ;

Suet feeders
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:23 AM   #22
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One thing that seemed to work a bit; I buy individual cakes - I can't stand the smell of making suet. I keep the cake in the plastic tray when I place it in the feeder upside-down. So the bird only has access to the cake from the bottom.

I have also tied string and let it hang from the corners of the feeder. It wasn't 100% HOSP proof, but it did keep them at bay. You could tell they were uncomfortable with it. Unfortunately it also kept a red-bellied woodpecker away, so I took them off.

In the end, though I was throwing a fit before, the HOSP and starlings only seem to overrun things when the weather is really bad. We have had three storms in the last ten days, each dropping about 5" each. So I have had to run about three starlings at a time and while the HOSP come in, I can tell they would rather not eat the black oil sunflower I feed. I don't give them the millet and milo they crave.

So the HOSP and starlings get some suet, but the bulk goes to the hairy and red-bellied, along with a pair of Carolina wrens that have been around a lot this winter.
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:29 AM   #23
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~sigh~ I was walking my property this morning when I came around the corner of my garage and saw a bird flying away from one of my nestboxes. At first I was excited to see it until it stopped on a perch nearby that allowed me to see what it was. It was a house sparrow.

I should never have mounted this box in that particular location anyway, so I plan to take it down and hopefully relocate it. I've not had a problem with house sparrows so far, and I'm hoping I can get it to move on!

I'm one of those people who hates to kill anything...I do understand that, to protect native cavity nesters, they should be euthanized, I'm just not sure I'd be willing to do it. For now removing that box seems to be the best answer. Last year I had a house wren build a nest in the same box. I'm not sure what happened to them, apparently it was not just a dummy nest because I found eggs in it--they never hatched but were not punctured or anything.

I'm going out now to take the box down.
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Old 03-14-2010, 02:31 AM   #24
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I don't have it in me to kill anything either and I don't feel guilty about not being willing to do it even though I know somebody has to do it. I wouldn't feel bad if I were you. Some people can do it and some people can't. My husband does it for us. Before that I'd trap them and drive them to somebody who could do it. I don't think yours is going to move on... it's probably going to find a mate and you'll end up with more... that's what happened to us. Is your partner able to do it for you or do you maybe have a farmer neighbor who could do it? Farmers seem to be more matter of fact about setting the emotion aside doing what needs to be done.
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:02 AM   #25
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I don't have it in me to kill anything either and I don't feel guilty about not being willing to do it even though I know somebody has to do it. I wouldn't feel bad if I were you. Some people can do it and some people can't. My husband does it for us. Before that I'd trap them and drive them to somebody who could do it. I don't think yours is going to move on... it's probably going to find a mate and you'll end up with more... that's what happened to us. Is your partner able to do it for you or do you maybe have a farmer neighbor who could do it? Farmers seem to be more matter of fact about setting the emotion aside doing what needs to be done.

Hmmm....I never asked him; I can't imagine he would. I'll bring it up to him just to see his reaction.

On Sialis Home - Helping Bluebirds and Other Small Cavity Nesters Survive and Thrive one suggestion is CO2 as a more humane way of killing them. Part of me feels I *might* be able to do that--but, I'd still rather not.

I remember my father squishing cabbage moth caterpillars in his hands. He grew up on a farm. I do swat at mosquitoes and kill Japanese beetle grubs, but that is probably the extent of it. If I find a wasp or something in my house, I catch it and put it outside!

I'm hoping that removing that box will not send them into the more open part of the yard where the tree swallows and bluebirds have nested in the past. Also, because house sparrows don't have to live in a box, I'm hoping they don't take up residence on my newly installed shelves under the eaves of my garage--those are meant for the barn swallows or other native birds that may choose to nest there.
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:36 PM   #26
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Would shaking the eggs work? I know thats done for invasive swans.


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do you maybe have a farmer neighbor who could do it? Farmers seem to be more matter of fact about setting the emotion aside doing what needs to be done.
LOL My Dad is the expection to the rule. He couldn't even put animals out of their suffering. Mom had to call the neighbors to come over and do it. He's so squeamish, he'd have us kids clean the dead mice out of the tractor equipment. That whole "farmers are early risers" goes out the window too.
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:47 PM   #27
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LOL My Dad is the expection to the rule. He couldn't even put animals out of their suffering. Mom had to call the neighbors to come over and do it. He's so squeamish, he'd have us kids clean the dead mice out of the tractor equipment. That whole "farmers are early risers" goes out the window too.
I can handle putting something out of its misery if I have to.

Thanks for sharing--I guess I got us off topic a bit first.
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:50 PM   #28
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Hmmm....I never asked him; I can't imagine he would. I'll bring it up to him just to see his reaction...
Oh, btw, his answer was no...just as I suspected.
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:58 PM   #29
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Would shaking the eggs work? I know thats done for invasive swans.
Or could the eggs be oiled before they develop, like they do for geese peace? It would keep the HOSP occupied too.

*edit*
I found advice for this here: Managing House Sparrows
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Old 03-14-2010, 05:03 PM   #30
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Or could the eggs be oiled before they develop, like they do for geese peace? It would keep the HOSP occupied too.

*edit*
I found advice for this here: Managing House Sparrows

Calliandra, thank you for the suggestions. I'll check out the link.
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