house sparrow in "bowl-like" bird nest

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Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:16 am
Location: Branson MO

I have a bluebird house with house sparrows in it. I have removed the messy sparrow nest twice this year. Now the female is feeding babies. I was not seeing a male, so was not totally sure it was a house sparrow. We went out to remove the babies, and when I looked into the nest, it was a lovely cup shaped regular bird's nest. So we backed off. But I have really been watching and looking at the mama who feeds those babies, and I am sure she is a house sparrow.
All I can think of is that after I cleaned out the second sparrow nest, another bird began a nest and then was run off by the house sparrows and they took over the nest. However, wouldn't they finish building a nest like they normally build? There is NO mess in this nest. It lays in the bottom of the house, is cup-shaped, and has baby birds feathering out. We don't have much time if they are sparrows.
Mama bird has a plain tannish tummy, white line/black line through and over her eye, brown wings with several black feathers on it. No white on the wings. Sort of a finch-like bill, but not as heavy as a finch. Have not seen dad for a couple of weeks. If he was around, I would know for sure.
After 3 years, I gave up and put two gourds out, hoping to get other birds to nest. I did. Had one pair of tree swallows and ONE pair of purple martins. The PM had 4 hatchlings. One died in the nest and one was found on the ground two days running and died that night. Two flew successfully.
Posts: 330
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 1:02 pm
Location: Western KY
Martin Colony History:

Tried to attract PMs since 2004; began more ernest attempt in 2014.

Current housing consists of two modified Trio M12Ks and a round gourd rack.

2018 — 3 pairs

2019 — 6 pairs

2020 — 12 pairs; barred owl late in season

Monitor FILs colony as well as colony at park.

~15 years of providing housing for bluebirds, Carolina wrens, house wrens, Carolina chickadees, tufted titmice, great-crested flycatchers and northern flickers.

Any possibility you could post a photo just to be certain of the bird's id?

Here is a link to birds who are cavity nesters — . If you click on "bio" it will show the adults, if you click on "photo" it will show the nest & sometimes eggs or nestlings.
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