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Old 02-09-2010, 08:35 AM   #1
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Default grrrrr - House sparrows . . .

Apologies as I am having trouble sleeping of late so my temper is shorter than usual . . .

With the heavy snows we have had here recently, I find my feeders overrun with house sparrows and starlings. It angers me a great deal to watch the native sparrows, finches and cardinals sitting around waiting for an opportunity to feed that they cannot get.

Anyone have any creative ideas to keep them at bay? I only feed black oil sunflower and my suet cage only allows upside-down access.

Trapping and killing them is not an option. I would have no issue with it, but my wife doesn't like the idea. Besides, that option would have to wait until spring anyway when the juncos, white-throat and white-crowned sparrows have left.

Has anyone tried using a halo?

I'm just very agitated this morning and cannot stand those two species . . .
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:40 AM   #2
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Until the birders are up and at their computers to answer you, here's a previous discussion on Sparrow Spookers. http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/for...est-boxes.html
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:49 AM   #3
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Thank you for the link - I have been to sialis but had forgotten the name.

I typically do not have much trouble; I'm thinking the snow has them hungry. I'll wait until this new storm dies down and then scatter some sunflower on the ground for the cardinals.
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:51 AM   #4
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Oh, that reminds me - I need to refill my feeders. Nothing was coming to them for many months, and I got out of the routine of checking them. They go thru the feed(or waste it on the ground) rather quickly now.
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:38 AM   #5
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I've not much problem with starlings here but HOSP's are all over the place . My wife is like yours Tim , she does not relish the idea of trapping but has learned over time to turn her eyes/back on what is necessary to do . She has seen the damage by cats and dogs here , I had her view a few sites such as sialis , blue bird sites where pics of what HOSP's do are exhibited . She blanched somewhat and turned away saying that she does not want to see such but it served my purpose and cleared the way to my trapping of them .

I really believe that suet feeders are better and choosing designs of feeders that require that birds cling to the side of them . I truly believe that the Hosp's lack the ability to do so . My observations lead me to believe that . I am playing with some ideas/designs in my head as to how a seed feeder could be designed to do that but due to variety of seed sizes etc fear that a seed feeder could not be done in such manner . sock feeders for with thistle seed would require that finches and such cling to the side .

I have not played with "spookers" yet , have read about them . Probably time to play with a few . Can't hurt .
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:41 AM   #6
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It may be because I have been looking at things this morning; I stayed home from work due to the weather.

My sunflower feeder is a screen feeder so they have to hang on it for the most part and I honestly believe that they do not have a great fondness for sunflower in the first place. I think they see the activity at the feeder and think that a free meal is there so they come in as a horde.

When the weather is not bad they do not come around as much.

But I honestly cannot stand them. The logical side of my brain is telling me that once the snow clears things will be better. The emotional side of my brain is telling me I should just catch them and snap their necks
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:53 AM   #7
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You can exclude starlings with a large mesh around the feeder, like some finch feeders come already made, but larger birds like cardinals can't get in either. If you use a few feeders, at least the smaller / native birds will have a chance.

You guys don't tell the Mrs. everything, do you?
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp thing View Post
You can exclude starlings with a large mesh around the feeder, like some finch feeders come already made, but larger birds like cardinals can't get in either. If you use a few feeders, at least the smaller / native birds will have a chance.

You guys don't tell the Mrs. everything, do you?
HE _ _ NO !

And it is the wise woman who learns what questions to NOT ask !
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:02 PM   #9
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The weather changing will only cause one thing - breeding. You will have more, not less.

I have a bluebird trail and purple martin colony on school grounds. I obviously cannot shoot and in our politically correct world, if "the kids" found out that I kill house sparrows, the school system would shut me down.

You can trap house sparrows and starlings without anyone knowing what you are doing, unless they are paying close attention. The only way that you can reduce the numbers of S&S that you see is to eliminate some (or all) of the birds. It is perfectly legal to do so. Every state in our country encourages you to kill these non-native, invasive species. Every college with an ornithology program encourages you to kill them. Virtually, every birding organization encourages you to kill them. They compete with our native birds for nesting sites and kill our native birds. They destroy native bird nests and eggs and kill young and adult native birds. If you love birds and trap mice, how could you not destroy every S&S that you possibly could?

There is a way to discretely reduce the number of S&S in any given location. Trap varieties are endless. You can and should target both species. Spring is a great time of year for this and it's right around the corner, so you have a few weeks to get a plan in order and traps ready. If starlings are present now, a repeating trap should get some interested, but they will attract more birds as breeding season nears. Make your own. They say it works for sparrows, too:
Starling repeating nest box trap

I use Van Ert insert traps in my bluebird houses if HOSP move in and Sparrow Spookers after any tree swallow or bluebird nests and lays at least one egg.

Given the desire, anyone can get away with legally and discretely eliminating S&S. It can and should be done. If you can control the non-native bird population, you should be able to host native birds.

A search on house sparrow or starling trap should result in something that you like in your situation, if my link isn't what you are looking for.
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimSaupe View Post
I should just catch them and snap their necks
I don't find sparrow recipes per se, but instructions that you can cook them the way you would cook reedbirds or quail. I don't know what a reedbird is, but quail recipes aren't hard to find.

Quail recipes, wild game cooking

Quail : recipes and cooking : Food Network
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