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Old 04-09-2012, 10:44 AM   #11
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Equilibrium, I totally forgot about the different nickname. It was from when I first joined that site. I use Birding Bunch most places now.
I know about the white feathers, they take them from our duck area. They even nest in our "coop". We cannot keep them out though. The coop is an old grain bin, the previous owners used it for his chickens. We close the ducks in it at night because of the coyotes and such. There are vent holes on the roof of the bin and the hosp fly in and out at will. I've put feathers in the trap, but our winds blow them right out. It's calm today, so need to get more in.
We've trapped a total of about 10 HOSP, the majority being male. We tried putting the trap off the ground like the site said, but have our best success with it on the ground.
This was kind of cute. No matter what we do, we cannot keep the House finches out. We've released four so far since we got the trap last week. Today was the first time we had one go in while a sparrow was already in it. The finches like safflour and thistle, but keep going after the cheap seed!! Oh, but on Saturday, a female got trapped when no sparrow was in it. Her male was on top hopping around looking as if he wanted to get her out. Usually, when we see a finch in there, we run out as fast as we can to free them. We've had them fly out and begin their song before they even land in a nearby tree. Singing for joy, they are!
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:56 AM   #12
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The house sparrows try to build their nests in the purple martin houses at the Refuge. Every week we have to remove one or two new nests. Sometimes there are eggs in the nest and we have to remove them as well. It breaks my heart to do this, but I know it has to be done.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:02 AM   #13
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I think lots of folk change their usernames from there because they've been banned. They seem to ban a LOT of native plant and animal people over there. Whatever. I haven't posted over there in about 4 years.... I look at any d-mails they send me notification of and call it a day. I don't fit in over there. Their indigenous plants forum turned into a joke when they changed the title to native plants and wildflowers and started selling ads to places selling "wildflowers" and I was sorta repulsed by all the "wildlife gardeners" they had posting photos of fluffies lounging outside in garden settings. Their cup over runneth with wildlife gardeners planting whatever makes them "feel" good because well.... every plant is native to somewhere.
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"We've trapped a total of about 10 HOSP, the majority being male. We tried putting the trap off the ground like the site said, but have our best success with it on the ground." Yaaaaaaaaaay on your 10 catches.... may you have many many many more!!! We've got repeating traps and they work better on the ground for us too. Cheap seed definitely "calls" to them. I've got an idea.... what about putting up a thistle sock for your finches? Maybe if they've got thistle seed at another feeder fewer will end up in your trap? Neither my HOSPs or EUSTs are all that interested in thistle or safflower seed. I've really got to get to work.... it's a gorgeous day today in the 50's and the buckthorn is calling to me!!!
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bridget> "It breaks my heart to do this, but I know it has to be done." I know.... I feel the same way about the mute swan eggs.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Cheap seed definitely "calls" to them. I've got an idea.... what about putting up a thistle sock for your finches? Maybe if they've got thistle seed at another feeder fewer will end up in your trap? ...
We've got a thistle sock, a massive tube filled with thistle, safflower in the platform and hopper feeders. It is strange, I thought all the native sparrows would be drawn to the trap, but it's these silly little finches. I throw a small amount of the cheap seed in the feeding area yet, but not much. I still get an occasional Chipping and Song sparrows there. We've not seen many Harris's sparrows very often right now and they are super curious and I know if we get any more they will end up in the trap.

Figures, I send a child out to get feathers and now that they are in the trap, the wind starts blowing like crazy!
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:28 PM   #15
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Not a single taker today, even with the replenishment of feathers before the winds kicked in again. It seems it is only after we move the trap, yet again, that we get any trapped. We want to keep this going with minimal stress, but I feel like... oh... something. We are continually watching to make sure any natives are released as quickly as possible. I feel guilty if we let life distract us from watch duty. How do people do this day in and day out?

At most I've been putting a handful of seed on the ground by our feeders, but that little bit is quickly found and consumed by Grackles and the hosp. Today, we did see a couple Chippings and "our" Swamp Sparrow came back. We were so thrilled! That bird, above all others, got me personally into birding. Sure, I'd always try to ID what came to the feeders, but that was it. I was quite amazed to have a SWAMP Sparrow in our feeding retreat. I mean, this is not a swamp. Someone told me that during migration, just about anything can be in any habitat. That hooked me, because if we can have birds like this come into our mowed yard, what is beyond that?!
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:23 PM   #16
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Take the feathers and "plant" them in the ground sticking up like pencils rammed into the soil then put the cage over it. You'll still lose some ramming them into the ground but.... they won't all blow out through the sides of the trap. Ya.... we have to move our trap around too and I only put it out when I'm gonna be home to watch it. Same thing with our cat traps.... those only go out when we're home and they're closed up late afternoon because animal control only picks up M-F until about 4:30 pm. Traps shouldn't be used unless there's somebody around to watch em. Missing a few days isn't a big deal.... you'll still get more than you would have gotten if you weren't doing something so be happy with whatever you do get.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:50 AM   #17
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Not a single taker today, even with the replenishment of feathers before the winds kicked in again. It seems it is only after we move the trap, yet again, that we get any trapped. We want to keep this going with minimal stress, but I feel like... oh... something. We are continually watching to make sure any natives are released as quickly as possible. I feel guilty if we let life distract us from watch duty. How do people do this day in and day out?
Don't make trapping HOSP a big chore. You will give up completely if you do. By not trapping when it isn't convenient, you give the HOSP a break (to forget) and you may not have to move your trap as much. I only trap for a few hours per week, but I am only protecting bluebird boxes at a site 45 miles away. The goal is to get as many as you can, as easily as you can. It would be great if you could trap every one of them, but you can only keep their numbers down to a minimum. Keep helping your native birds when it is easy for you.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:48 AM   #18
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I'm interested to see what people are using for ground traps. I would not want to spend a lot of $$$ on this but I'm interested in putting up a basic trap. Birding Bunch, what does your trap look like? Is it basic or complicated? thanks in advance...
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:39 AM   #19
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BeeWonderful, We purchased the trap at Deluxe Repeating Sparrow Traps. It seems pretty basic. We feel it was worth the money in the short time we've used it because it doesn't have to be reset every time a bird gets in. I finally made a count, we caught a dozen house sparrows, no escapees. We've released 5 natives without even touching them.

Thank you for your suggestions, Mark. The trap is actually inside today because my husband is at the office (Normally he works at home) Our greatest numbers was over by the van, but they seemed to catch on after the second day. So we'll put it back in that same area after a couple days and see how it goes.

Equilibrium, You live out in the country, does the animal control go out to pick up cats? Out in the small towns around us, there are only rescues that I am aware of and they try to adopt out all that is brought in. We've got feral cats in the area and the rescues only fix and release them. We've been trying to catch possums in a live trap and the cats have been caught in that. One feral ate the bait while it was trapped, the other was too dignified to do that so we suspect by its demeanor that it was just dumped in the country. When my husband let it out, he said it was so calm and had a royal aire about it.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:43 PM   #20
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Do House Sparrows nest in trees? I thought they were cavity, but one of the children pointed out a nest where a female has been coming and going and they hear the chirping. It is well above my reach, so will let Papa have a look-see. I did not see all the mess like I've seen other HOSP nests. If mom HOSP is not there, how do we tell if these are house sparrows or not? What would the hatchings look like?

We've had zilch success with the trap even after several days of the trap being put away. We are getting busy with the garden and other outside work, so I don't think Papa will have time to build a different trap. A nest box type would be nice, maybe similar to the repeating Starling trap we've got. I don't know that I like the one time trap I've seen.
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bird, bird house, birdhouse, birds, bluebird house, bluebirds, english, hosp, house, house sparrow, invasive birds, invasive species, managing, sparrow, sparrow spooker, sparrow trap, sparrows, trap, use for raptor rehabilitators

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