Dilemma... what should I do?

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Posts: 162
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 1:14 pm
Location: essex county ontario

I have a sy pair nesting on the side of the martin house facing the lake. Today 3 sparrows were harassing my martins and appear to have taken one of the compartments facing opposite of the lake. I have taken this action: I lowered my other house (about 40 ft away from the martin house) which the sparrows were using as a launching pad to bother the martins. I have set my dual trap I purchased from this site.
What should I do? I am thinking I should plug the holes the sparrows have claimed in the martin house. The martins seemed to have protected their side of the house. The second house I mentioned was meant to be a diversionary house since it is near a tree. Any suggestions appreciated.
The house is a coates 6 compartment suite.
Last edited by joeincan on Mon Jun 20, 2005 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.


Can you give some more info? What kind of house do you have? If it is a Trio house, beg , borrow, or buy a Trio Sparrow door, put it in the compartment the sparrows have claimed, trap and destroy them. If you have another kind of house a Universal insert trap may work. Alternatively you could shoot them.

Mary Dawnsong
Posts: 1685
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:17 pm
Location: Michigan, Livingston County

Hi Joe,

Don't plug the HOSP holes, that may drive them to challenge the martins for their compartment. HOSP can kill or injure adult martins. I nearly lost a male martin to a pair of HOSP who were trying to take his gourd; I believe that only my intervention saved him.

Is your house a Trio/Nature House? If so get a Spare-O-Door or two - you'll catch them quickly. http://shop.purplemartin.org/shopsite/p ... uct63.html

If not a Trio house, then make plastic or metal templates with a 1 3/8 diameter hole and tape over each HOSP hole; the HOSP will be able to enter, but not martins. Put a piece of sticky trap/glue trap inside each HOSP compartment. Keep your distance, but monitor carefully to insure that only HOSP enter those holes. If you catch only the males, that's good enough - their females will leave.

Don't assume your HOSP problems are over after you destroy this bunch - there is an infinite supply of them out there and they want your martin's cavities. For an extremely effective trapping solution, see:

Good luck, Mary
Click here to see my colony
"In Michigan every martin matters"


The usage of glue traps is contentious (like most things), I don't like the idea of using real glue traps (the one used for catching mice) but have managed to find glue traps made for catching insects. The traps in question are made of a thin piece of cardboard coated on one side with a very thin layer of extremely sticky glue - the end result is that Hosps leave a few feathers behind - once subject to this treatment they never come back.

If you are contemplating glue traps than let the Hosps build their nest; once done insert the glue trap. If you pull out the nest and simply install a glue trap they probably won't enter the compartment on the other hand if you leave the nest in place Hosps can't resist going back in and other species will not enter thus eliminate the possibility of catching a PM.

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