Sparrow Trap Placement

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MSchmohl
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:58 pm
Location: MO/Kearney
Martin Colony History: 2015: 5 pairs, 16 babies fledged

Where do you place a repeating sparrow trap? I built one like the the 3 part You Tube video said and I have only been able to catch two house sparrows. These I caught on the first day. I got arid of the two I caught not knowing I should have kept them for decoys. I have not been able to catch any more since. I have moved the trap around to various locations (on my deck, on the deck railing, on the patio, by the bird feeders, on my front porch, on a wood pile). I have about four annoying house sparrows that keep trying to make nests in my PM barn. I am a newbee and I'm hoping to attract PM to my barn and gourds. There are PMs flying around the open lots behind my house that come down from my neighbor's colony. I don't want these house sparrows to deter any possible interested PMs from visiting my barn and gourds.
I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on how I can catch these annoying pests.

Oh I forgot to mention I'm using bread and some cheap bird seed at the trap entrance.
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6211
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Try some nest material for bait, especially big white feathers - you can hot glue them to a piece of cardboard so they don't blow out of the trap.
Chuck4
Posts: 861
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:05 am
Location: North MS
Martin Colony History: I started trying to attract Purple Martins in 2011. I got my first breeding pair in 2013.

2013-1 pair, 2014-4 pair, 2015-8 pair, 2016-12 pair 60 babies :-).

MSchmohl wrote:Where do you place a repeating sparrow trap? I built one like the the 3 part You Tube video said and I have only been able to catch two house sparrows. These I caught on the first day. I got arid of the two I caught not knowing I should have kept them for decoys. I have not been able to catch any more since. I have moved the trap around to various locations (on my deck, on the deck railing, on the patio, by the bird feeders, on my front porch, on a wood pile). I have about four annoying house sparrows that keep trying to make nests in my PM barn. I am a newbee and I'm hoping to attract PM to my barn and gourds. There are PMs flying around the open lots behind my house that come down from my neighbor's colony. I don't want these house sparrows to deter any possible interested PMs from visiting my barn and gourds.
I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on how I can catch these annoying pests.

Oh I forgot to mention I'm using bread and some cheap bird seed at the trap entrance.
The best time to trap is in the winter when they are in feeding mode. They become more difficult to trap in a repeating trap this time of year because they are actively trying to nest, but it can be done. I found that I was very successful though when I placed the trap close to the housing where the sparrows could see the trap. I used nesting material and a little bit of bird seed to get the first ones in the trap. Try putting a mirror in the bait compartment too, so a sparrow will see its own reflection.
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tonyg
Posts: 1520
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:16 pm
Location: Olpe, KS
Martin Colony History: 22 year landlord, 14 at current residence..offering 9 racks and a homemade T-8 for 166 total cavities. 160 Pair in 2018 Racks consist of a Deluxe 12, AAA 16, Starburst 16, 2 K-18 Series, Super 24, 2 Gemini, Multi-purpose/two trio’s/4gourds and a T-8..Great hobby to be involved in..

Always leave mine by my bird feeder, seems to work well,there for me..agree with Chuck, it's tougher to catch them this time of year..I put millet seed and white bread in mine..and Louise idea of feathers will work as they are looking for nesting material..good luck
22 year landlord..9 Rack Systems for 2018 and my home built T-8 for a total of 166 cavities..160 pair in 2018 ..SUPER COLONY!!! Love You Bev... Fan of those St. Louis Cardinals!!!!!
MSchmohl
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:58 pm
Location: MO/Kearney
Martin Colony History: 2015: 5 pairs, 16 babies fledged

Thank you all for your suggestions. I placed some of the dried out weed material they have been dragging up into the barn around the trap. Today I had a cardinal and a dove get caught in the trap. I released the two birds. It wasn't easy getting the big dove out of the elevator. I hated to see these two birds get traumatized by a trap that is meant only for House Sparrows.

I think I'm going to go to Walmart and pick-up a cheap BB or Pellet gun. Can anyone suggest an inexpensive brand/model of gun that will be effective in getting arid of House Sparrows?

Will PMs show interest in my barn or gourds if these House Sparrows keep hanging around the barn? They used to try to nest in my bluebird house until the bluebirds started their nest in the box. Now they don't bother the bluebird house. They really like my barn since I put it up. I don't know if the House Sparrows will give up if any PMs would start to nest?
Chuck4
Posts: 861
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:05 am
Location: North MS
Martin Colony History: I started trying to attract Purple Martins in 2011. I got my first breeding pair in 2013.

2013-1 pair, 2014-4 pair, 2015-8 pair, 2016-12 pair 60 babies :-).

MSchmohl wrote:Thank you all for your suggestions. I placed some of the dried out weed material they have been dragging up into the barn around the trap. Today I had a cardinal and a dove get caught in the trap. I released the two birds. It wasn't easy getting the big dove out of the elevator. I hated to see these two birds get traumatized by a trap that is meant only for House Sparrows.

I think I'm going to go to Walmart and pick-up a cheap BB or Pellet gun. Can anyone suggest an inexpensive brand/model of gun that will be effective in getting arid of House Sparrows?

Will PMs show interest in my barn or gourds if these House Sparrows keep hanging around the barn? They used to try to nest in my bluebird house until the bluebirds started their nest in the box. Now they don't bother the bluebird house. They really like my barn since I put it up. I don't know if the House Sparrows will give up if any PMs would start to nest?
Try placing nesting materials or feathers (like Louise suggested) into the bait compartment without any seed (so other birds wont get trapped). But you will have to remove non HOSP though, I did. I had some Carolina Wrens that just kept getting trapped for a while. I almost think they enjoyed the excitement. :) Not using seed may help. Try using white bread for bait. HOSP love it. HOSP males will not give up any nesting area to a martin or any other cavity nesting bird once they have claimed it. They will defend it vigorously. Male HOSP are very aggressive bullies. They can only be gotten rid of by trapping or shooting-or becoming lunch for a Hawk or cat. :wink:
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Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6211
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Yes, try using only white bread, big hunks, no seed - that should help limit catch more to HOSP. Also, your ID of martins just caught my eye -
Will PMs show interest in my barn or gourds if these House Sparrows keep hanging around the barn? They used to try to nest in my bluebird house until the bluebirds started their nest in the box.
This makes me think your martins were Tree Swallows - which are fine in a bluebird box or gourd, but you don't want them in your martin house or gourds. Snow-white belly = tree swallows. Martins have black/purple or grey belly.
MSchmohl
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:58 pm
Location: MO/Kearney
Martin Colony History: 2015: 5 pairs, 16 babies fledged

Louise, I haven't had any Purple Martins attempt to nest in any of my sites yet. I was referring to the HOSP nesting in my bluebird house. They have left the bluebird house alone since I put the PM barn up. I do have some PMs flying around my house and the open lots behind my house. They have been coming down from the established colony that is less than 500 yds. from my house. Since I have seen these PMs in the area, I have opened up the 3 gourds and about 3 holes to the barn on the side that face my house.
I also plan to smear some mud on the gourds and the barn entrances after the heavy rain that is expected tonight and tomorrow.
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6211
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Thanks for clarifying - I hope your trapping is successful soon, so martins can move right in :)
alfie
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:54 pm
Location: Cedar Creek, Texas
Martin Colony History: None as of Oct 2020, hoping to become a landlord in 2021

I just read this and am also having problems catching HOSP in my repeating trap. I'm going to try the nesting material idea. I just purchased a few Sparrow Guard traps and other traps from PMCA and will put them in when I receive them. I do have millet and water in the trap. I have a few Martin Decoys that I'm thinking of putting in the repeating trap but not sure if that would work. Any thoughts on putting the decoys in the repeating trap?
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1309
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- Visitors.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021- 28 pair. 118 fledged
Home colony: mix natural, super and excluder gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satellite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mini castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021: 10 pair, 30 fledged
PMCA member

I'm not sure putting a decoy in the trap would work, live sparrows are the best. Iv put dove decoys around the area to show its a bird friendly spot to lure the sparrows. Dont know if it works or not. Seems like when a few are caught, the others shy for a while. Like Louise suggests, white feathers are golden, I stick mine in a foam block quill down so they stick up in the air.

They seem to like cover so iv placed ours under a small tree near the food we place.
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
alfie
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:54 pm
Location: Cedar Creek, Texas
Martin Colony History: None as of Oct 2020, hoping to become a landlord in 2021

I took the decoys out. Since I have 2 repeating traps I'll put one under a tree to see what happens. Right now I have them about 10 feet from the Martin houses since that is where they want to go. I don't see any feathers around so I'll go to Walmart tomorrow. Their website shows they have white feathers. Thanks for the idea.
deancamp
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong. I've heard sparrows are either in feeding mode or nesting mode. By that I mean if you can't bait them with food then it would be nesting materials and that's where the white feather comes in. They also use long grass stems and the like, you might try that as well.
Jeff Dean
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3176
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I used to have a repeating trap (it finally rotted away) and it was very hit and miss. I kept it set all the time and it might go weeks or longer with nothing then one day it would catch 4 or 5. The key is to catch that first one, it will draw others in. The best day I ever had was after I caught a young HOSP fluttering in my grass that had left the nest prematurely and couldn't fly yet. I put it in the trap and caught 11 hosp in a couple hours. That little chirping baby was like a magnet.
2021 Currently 62 nest 138 babies plus 110 eggs (6-317-21) HOSP count-9
2020 42 nest, Fledged 164 HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional lone SY's
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 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair 14 fledged.
alfie
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:54 pm
Location: Cedar Creek, Texas
Martin Colony History: None as of Oct 2020, hoping to become a landlord in 2021

I have both food and nesting material, pine straw, in my traps. Nothing yet. An earlier post said they used white feathers as nesting material. I'm going to Walmart today to buy some. I also purchased 2 Sparrow chirping audio modules so once they get here I'll be trying them also. I also purchased Gourd, Sunset Inn and T14 traps from PMCA and will use them also. SOMETHING has to work.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3176
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I have a lot better luck with the insert traps in my T14 than any other trap.
2021 Currently 62 nest 138 babies plus 110 eggs (6-317-21) HOSP count-9
2020 42 nest, Fledged 164 HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional lone SY's
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 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair 14 fledged.
alfie
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:54 pm
Location: Cedar Creek, Texas
Martin Colony History: None as of Oct 2020, hoping to become a landlord in 2021

I finally got 2 House Sparrows in my trap. I was going to be away during the day for 3 days and couldn't check the trap so I disabled the trap by making sure the trap stayed in the up position so birds would go get the food on the other side of the swing arm. I came back and made sure the trap would work and in about an hour i captured a male and a female House Sparrow. I'm assuming they might be the ones I've been watching on the Martin houses. I tried all the suggestions I've seen posted such as putting white feathers and nesting material in the trap and I even put the trap under some trees but it looks like what worked was disabling the trap for a few days so the sparrows will feel safe going across the swing arm. I do have a Shelter Box on it and food and water like other people suggested. I also had a Sparrow Audio Module I purchased from Bird Barrier in the trap. I took the audio module out since I have "live decoys" now. So now I'll see if I get more.
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1309
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- Visitors.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021- 28 pair. 118 fledged
Home colony: mix natural, super and excluder gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satellite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mini castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021: 10 pair, 30 fledged
PMCA member

alfie wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:41 pm
I finally got 2 House Sparrows in my trap. I was going to be away during the day for 3 days and couldn't check the trap so I disabled the trap by making sure the trap stayed in the up position so birds would go get the food on the other side of the swing arm. I came back and made sure the trap would work and in about an hour i captured a male and a female House Sparrow. I'm assuming they might be the ones I've been watching on the Martin houses. I tried all the suggestions I've seen posted such as putting white feathers and nesting material in the trap and I even put the trap under some trees but it looks like what worked was disabling the trap for a few days so the sparrows will feel safe going across the swing arm. I do have a Shelter Box on it and food and water like other people suggested. I also had a Sparrow Audio Module I purchased from Bird Barrier in the trap. I took the audio module out since I have "live decoys" now. So now I'll see if I get more.
Alfie, looking through older posts to better trap sparrows, did you have any luck with the audio module from bird barrier to attract them to the trap?
Thanks
Tom
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
alfie
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:54 pm
Location: Cedar Creek, Texas
Martin Colony History: None as of Oct 2020, hoping to become a landlord in 2021

Hi all

I've actually had luck with the Sparrow Audio Module and trap. They also make a "cage" that you can mount the Audio Module and trap on I've caught about 5 HOSP this year, first year I've used it. I also have 2 of the repeating traps. What worked for me is putting one out by my Martin Houses. I've caught about 13 this year, again first year. I've also 2 using the trap that PCMA sells for the T14 houses. The only thing I don't like about those is sometimes when I raise the house back up the trap goes off. I usually watch which house the HOSP seems to like and put the trap in it. I don't use bread, I catch more ants then anything else with bread. I use the White Millet and Stafflower seeds.
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1309
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- Visitors.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021- 28 pair. 118 fledged
Home colony: mix natural, super and excluder gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satellite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mini castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021: 10 pair, 30 fledged
PMCA member

Great, thank you! Glad your having success catching them. They are real buggers. Seems like our nest box traps work best, besides shooting of course. I have the live repeating traps, but the doves swarm it, caught 3 sparrow fledges. I expect this winter will be better.
Iv got the audio module on my Christmas list!
Good luck trapping
Tom
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
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