most effective way to control house sparrows

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clivia98
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:14 am
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby clivia98 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:11 pm

Any suggestions on controlling the house sparrow and preventing them from invading a martin or blue bird nest?

flyin-lowe
Posts: 2199
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby flyin-lowe » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:34 pm

What are your surroundings like? I live out in the country and I kill a majority each year with a shotgun. The second most are taken via nest box/insert traps in my T14. If you don't live in an area where you can shoot then trapping is the next best thing. One thing for sure is if you stay on top of it, you can make a dent in the population. The first couple years it seems like they are never ending. However they do not have a huge home range. At my first location the first couple years I killed over 100 sparrows each year. I had farms on both sides of me and there was grain, feed etc. However after about the 5th year I was killing less then 10 a year. The thing with shooting is you have to get them the first time (which is why I use a shot gun). The first time you can often times walk pretty close to them. After you have shot at them and missed, especially more then once, they will get very skiddish. If you even crack a door or window they will take off.

I have used a Blaines repeating trap before and it has mixed results for me. I could have it set for a week and not catch anything and then two weeks later I will catch 3 or 4 a day several days in a row, then another cold spell. Early in the season an insert trap in my T14 will catch one after another.
2018- Currently 7 ASY pair nesting, SY's starting to arrive
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.

Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1753
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:47 am
Location: Pennsylvania/Fombell

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby Doug Martin - PA » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:37 pm

For me.

1. Pellet gun
2. Nest box trap mounted somewhere a bluebird or Tree swallow would not be interested. Example: Side of a building. I use starting fluid spray to put them to sleep after capture. A bluebird box with a special insert mechanism installed works good for me.
3. Be certain not to allow successful nests anywhere near you. This means extinguishing the eggs or young. (and parents) You can spray a heavy dose of starting fluid in the nest and tape it shut after dark.

I kind of hate killing anything but after you see these birds murder nesting tree swallows, bluebirds and Martin families just because they like to.....well it's better than the alternative. I have witnessed them doing this without even trying to take the nest box afterwards. They just kill any of these other species for no real reason. Other than competition.

Doug
Supplemental feeding plays a major role in western Pennsylvania. Finally got my 1st pair in 2009 after 28 years of effort. 3 pairs in 2010. 17 pairs in 2011. 35 pairs and 150 young in 2012 & 2013. Plus a new 22 pair colony right down the road from me.

clivia98
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:14 am
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby clivia98 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:56 pm

Thanks for the replies. I live in south Louisiana in a rural neighborhood. I just put up my martin house and already have martins. Also, I just put up a blue bird house and for 2 days now I've seen a pair of blue birds hanging around the house. I've read so much about predators so I have baffle guards for both houses and the SREH entry holes for the martin house. I'm not familiar with the sparrow traps. Shooting them might be the only option I have.

~Ray~Gingerich
Posts: 2090
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Delaware/Dover

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby ~Ray~Gingerich » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:27 am

I never had much luck trapping sparrows in bait traps, don't know why. I put up a nest box made to fit a spar-o- door trap and have caught many sparrows in it. I guess at the times they bother martins they're looking to nest, not eat.
~Ray~ Gingerich
1999 1pair, 2006 2 pair, 2008 2 pair,
2009 23 pair, 2010 39 pair, 2011 67 pair,
2012 115 pair, 2013 160 pair,
2014 152 pair, 2015 174 pair, 2016 178 pair
2017 187 pair

Craig Dyer
Posts: 499
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 2:24 pm
Location: Nevada, TX
Martin Colony History: Area is rural. Offer 28 compartments...metal housing (Lonestar Goliad) & Supergourds all w/crescent entrance holes. Purple martins are abundant here and eager for quality, well maintained, safe housing. Expect near 100% occupancy this season.

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby Craig Dyer » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:24 am

I have the best success trapping house sparrows in my bluebird box. I use the Deluxe Insert Trap for Wooden BB Houses (sold on the PMCA website). It has to be monitored closely to free any trapped bluebirds. I also use a wire box bait trap, but with limited results. The best bait for this trap is another house sparrow. If I can trap one I can usually trap several more in quick succession. By far the most effective method for house sparrow control is my Beeman air rifle. For every house sparrow I manage to trap, I shoot ten more!
Craig Dyer

James A Lenz
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:30 am
Location: AL, Athens, Limestone County
Martin Colony History: 2017 New Landlord 11 cavities offered 3 pair fledging 8.

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby James A Lenz » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:21 pm

clivia98 wrote:Any suggestions on controlling the house sparrow and preventing them from invading a martin or blue bird nest?
Craig Dyer wrote:I have the best success trapping house sparrows in my bluebird box. I use the Deluxe Insert Trap for Wooden BB Houses (sold on the PMCA website). It has to be monitored closely to free any trapped bluebirds. I also use a wire box bait trap, but with limited results. The best bait for this trap is another house sparrow. If I can trap one I can usually trap several more in quick succession. By far the most effective method for house sparrow control is my Beeman air rifle. For every house sparrow I manage to trap, I shoot ten more!

Bettered popcorn is great bait for sparrows. They love popcorn.

James A Lenz
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:30 am
Location: AL, Athens, Limestone County
Martin Colony History: 2017 New Landlord 11 cavities offered 3 pair fledging 8.

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby James A Lenz » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:30 pm

James A Lenz wrote:
clivia98 wrote:Any suggestions on controlling the house sparrow and preventing them from invading a martin or blue bird nest?
Craig Dyer wrote:I have the best success trapping house sparrows in my bluebird box. I use the Deluxe Insert Trap for Wooden BB Houses (sold on the PMCA website). It has to be monitored closely to free any trapped bluebirds. I also use a wire box bait trap, but with limited results. The best bait for this trap is another house sparrow. If I can trap one I can usually trap several more in quick succession. By far the most effective method for house sparrow control is my Beeman air rifle. For every house sparrow I manage to trap, I shoot ten more!

Bettered popcorn is great bait for sparrows. They love popcorn.

I like to sit under the corner of my carport where I am partially concealed and look into a huge pine tree where I can spot the sparrows when they land. I then YouTube a sparrow call video to call them in and then shot them with a shotgun. After i have shot several the rest seem to leave the area around my yard. The first month the Martins are back is a great time to shot sparrows while the Martins are away most of the day and before there are eggs or nestlings.

~Ray~Gingerich
Posts: 2090
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Delaware/Dover

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby ~Ray~Gingerich » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:49 pm

Another thing that helps is to remove their habitat. Thick bushes, hedges, cedar trees etc. that they like to hide in.
~Ray~ Gingerich
1999 1pair, 2006 2 pair, 2008 2 pair,
2009 23 pair, 2010 39 pair, 2011 67 pair,
2012 115 pair, 2013 160 pair,
2014 152 pair, 2015 174 pair, 2016 178 pair
2017 187 pair

William Bagwell
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:23 pm
Location: North Central Georgia USA
Martin Colony History: Long interested in Purple Martins, just starting 2017!

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby William Bagwell » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:19 pm

~Ray~Gingerich wrote:Another thing that helps is to remove their habitat. Thick bushes, hedges, cedar trees etc. that they like to hide in.


Home Depot and Lowes would probably be upset if we removed all their stores :wink:

Other than occasionally shopping center parking lots, those are the only places I see HOSP. Do have Starlings but saw far fewer of them last year than I have for 20 years. Been harassing them with rat-shot off and on for years, to the point they always fly away when they hear the door opening. Only difference I can think of was playing the dawn song. Are they smart enough to realize I'm a lot more serious than I used to be?

Bird Brain
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:22 am
Location: Highland Village, TX
Martin Colony History: 2017-many fly overs and circle arounds. None landed.

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby Bird Brain » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:47 am

Hey James lenz. I like that idea about calling them in for an ambush. I'm gonna try that with my cell phone and pellet gun. I just bought a Benjamin 397. 2 pumps and it's dead accurate at 30 feet. I like to pump the pellet gun as little as possible to minimize damage to the martin pole in case I miss the HOSP. I can sneak a pellet gun barrel over the fence and shoot HOSP before they notice me. I can also sneak a pellet gun barrel around the corner of house from the other side if they happen to be over there. How do these shot gunners avoid damaging their martin pole? Maybe they shoot HOSP on the fly after they take off. Pretty good shootin. Never break in to a martin landlords house. KABOOM. lol

flyin-lowe
Posts: 2199
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby flyin-lowe » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:44 am

As long as you are not shooting directly at the martins don't let that deter you from shooting HOSP. In the beginning the martins will fly off for a second and then return. I have shot HOSP of my perching station while martins are sitting 5 feet away on the T14. Now most of them don't even fly off. Sometimes they will follow the dead sparrow to the ground.
2018- Currently 7 ASY pair nesting, SY's starting to arrive
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.

Craig Dyer
Posts: 499
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 2:24 pm
Location: Nevada, TX
Martin Colony History: Area is rural. Offer 28 compartments...metal housing (Lonestar Goliad) & Supergourds all w/crescent entrance holes. Purple martins are abundant here and eager for quality, well maintained, safe housing. Expect near 100% occupancy this season.

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby Craig Dyer » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:41 pm

Years ago there was a male HOSP perched on the porch entrance to one of my martin houses. I shot it with my air rifle and dropped it dead in it's tracks, still on the porch...clean kill. Within a matter of seconds a male purple martin swept in, picked up the dead sparrow & tossed it off the porch to the ground. Seemed as if he was watching and more than happy to clean up the mess!
Craig Dyer

James A Lenz
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:30 am
Location: AL, Athens, Limestone County
Martin Colony History: 2017 New Landlord 11 cavities offered 3 pair fledging 8.

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby James A Lenz » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:07 am

Craig Dyer wrote:Years ago there was a male HOSP perched on the porch entrance to one of my martin houses. I shot it with my air rifle and dropped it dead in it's tracks, still on the porch...clean kill. Within a matter of seconds a male purple martin swept in, picked up the dead sparrow & tossed it off the porch to the ground. Seemed as if he was watching and more than happy to clean up the mess!

Hello Bird Brian my wife calls me bird brain lol. I never shoot at my Martin pole with my shotgun. I have a cross man P4 for shooting near the Martins. The Martins are way to smart to hang around if you accidentally shoot aone of their own. When I see a sparrow on my rack I shoe it away and it usually heads for my pine tree to scold me. My answer for this disrespectful is to sent him to the great by and by! LOL! Also the loud sound of the shot gun will scare away female sparrows after you have shot their mate.

phldave
Posts: 440
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:44 pm
Location: Iowa/Pleasant Hill

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby phldave » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:25 pm

I have trapped many. Sparrows make a challenging target for an air rifle. I would suggest getting an insert trap. Wait until the male sparrow has decided he likes a specific compartment and has started dragging nesting material in. Put some of this material in the insert trap so he feels at home. If he has paired up with a female and you catch her first, you still have a problem until u catch him. If u catch him first she will leave. When it comes to sparrows and starlings you have to keep the pressure on them. Because their erg to nest is very very strong and they never stop trying. Wish I could say I have martins, so far I am just a professional trapper.
2012 late start
2013 nothing yet, lots a lookers
2014 Bust again
2015 Bust again
2016 Bust again
2017 Bust again
2018 April 14 a group joined me, but moved on after a week

ron20m
Posts: 423
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:01 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Norman

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby ron20m » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:28 pm

I agree with Doug, I've had them peck one of my last two babies to death. My wife doesn't like me killing them"they are Gods creatures too" but I call them "gang bangers" trying to invade my neighborhood and I'm not going to let them.
It is a big problem for me because I'm suburban. I've trapped, but not a good trap for BO 11. Great traps for troyer horiz gourd. But you have to be careful not to trap martins. In an established nest with eggs I've put a mouse trap in over eggs, hoping that a Martin wouldn't enter a gourd filled with sparrow nesting material. So far so good.
I've also snuck out at night with a ladder and put a bag over entrance and stuck a screwdriver up through drainage hole and scared them into bag. My colony well establish and my martins usually don't startle at night but did once. I bought a butterfly net with long arm that I might try same technique.
Also use pellet gun but very small target.
A big worry is once you have martin eggs and babies the Male sparrow night go on a killing rampage if you just rip out the nest. i've also found it to be a lot easier to trap female than male. I've trapped a female, reset trap and NEVER caught male many times. Even my night trick sometimes only the female in there. rarely are both.
Best thing for me is a ground trap just below housing with bird seed, small milo type. Occasionally catch a dove but mostly a sparrow catching machine and a lot of Males. It's easy to watch and productive.

flyin-lowe
Posts: 2199
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: most effective way to control house sparrows

Postby flyin-lowe » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:51 am

Once martins are around it is easy to take a plastic lid of some sort and cut a hole in it that martins cant' get in. Tape or silicone it to the cavity with the trap.
2018- Currently 7 ASY pair nesting, SY's starting to arrive
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.


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