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Old 05-01-2010, 02:32 PM   #1
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Default Is this a house sparrow nest?

I have a box with eggs but have been unable to catch a glimpse of the parents. Is this a house sparrow nest/eggs? Just wanted to doublecheck before I clean it out. Here's are pictures of the nest with eggs.
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Is this a house sparrow nest?-img_0329.jpg   Is this a house sparrow nest?-img_0330.jpg   Is this a house sparrow nest?-img_0331.jpg  
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Old 05-01-2010, 06:06 PM   #2
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Stapleton,

They look like it to me, but it's difficult to tell from your photos.

Once you've CONFIRMED that's what they are, and the best way may be to watch for the parents, I have a suggestion for you rather than just cleaning them out.

Again, AFTER CONFIRMATION, you can try "addling" (or one of several other methods) to make them infertile, then replace them. The advantage being that the HOSP will spend a great deal of time (2-4 weeks) tending to infertile eggs rather than just competing for another nest site with other cavity dwellers and then rebuilding and re-laying.

The other advantage is that if you have multiple houses, the HOSP's will sometimes raid nearby bird houses possibly with a clutch of Bluebirds or Tree Swallows (or SOME other desirable species) and trash it (if the HOSP nest was destroyed or cleaned out), almost in an act of vengance.

However, this only works if you have multiple birdhouses. If you have only one, clean out may be the best choice.

More info here.

Best of luck!

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Old 05-01-2010, 08:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for the link and id, Quietman! I might have scared the parents away as I've tried to keep a look out for them, but no luck. I won't touch the eggs until I see a parent to confirm they're house sparrows. I looked up some nest id pics at http://www.sialis.org/images/nesteggsphotoalbum/Nests/index.htm
which were helpful. The idea of tricking the sparrows into incubating infertile eggs is genius. I put up three too many blue bird boxes (4 total, 1 in each corner of the yard) so the rolling egg thing sounds like the best course of action.
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:16 AM   #4
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Stapleton,

Taking a closer look at your photos, I'm beginning to think maybe you have Tufted Titmouse Eggs there.
(The "Auto White Balance" on most modern digital cameras is what makes this tough I think)

I'm glad you'll be watching for the parents!

Take Care,

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Old 05-10-2010, 11:39 PM   #5
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I would have said the same thing looking at the link you provided HOWEVER...... Take a look at these......
Is this a house sparrow nest?-dscf5880.jpg
Last week I took a peek into my cute little wrens box since I had noticed a nest of moss being built inside. A rotten sparrow flew out!

This week I snuck in and put my hand over the entry to scare the dickens out of her hoping she'll leave on her own...
This is what I found. 4 little sparrow eggs.
I wanted to smash them after learning about their killing occupants and taking their nests over but a cute little chickadee landed nearby and sat there watching me.
I failed, and set them back......I just don't have the heart to kill things even if that cruddy thing may have killed my petite wren I liked so!
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:59 AM   #6
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I checked in on that rotten sparrow today.... Guess what?
Letting her flutter about inside the box for a while with my hand over the entry hole did the trick... She's GONE! I can't figure this one out though...... The eggs are gone as well. So what do you think happened to them?
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:07 AM   #7
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Your husband spared you doing the dirty deed yourself? Mine spares me.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:15 AM   #8
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I don't think so. About all he does there is cut grass...I DID remove the stick layers the sparrow had added. I left the mossy layer in the bottom that the wren had put in. It has what appears to be small clumps of fox hair mixed in along with the white fibers of an old stuffed toy the weather had split open.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:00 PM   #9
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Havalotta: I am confused. So those speckled eggs you posted about, were they tufted titmouse eggs or sparrow eggs? Are you talking about the same nest at the end of the post that you wrote about in the beginning of the post?

I too thought they were titmouse eggs, from the pictures you posted and from my research.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:03 PM   #10
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I help out with a purple martin monitoring project at our refuge. We check the nest boxes and gourds once a week. Every week I have to pull out a house sparrow nest. Last week we pulled out two. Last year these persistent sparrows would start rebuilding as soon as we pulled the old nest out!

I have thought about addling the eggs, but the sparrows are too aggressive to have nesting in the same condos as the martins. Last year I pulled out what I thought was an empty nest and two eggs fell to the ground. I felt so bad! I have a hard time killing anything!
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