March 25, 2017 at 8:33 pm #3343
I’m in SE PA. I have three nest boxes. One has a blue bird pair shopping to nest. That box produced one fledgling last year. The other box had tree swallows last year. The third went unused. I went to check the old tree swallow box today because I’ve seen house sparrows. Inside was a dead male blue bird who had been mauled to death, and the beginnings of a HOSP nest on top of him. Very sad. My first traumatic blue bird casualty. Anyway, I have a DRST, but nothing trapped yet. I also put a van ert in that box because the HOSP are clearly using it. As I was monitoring it today, tree swallows decided to show up from their migration north and went right for that box. The HOSP won out for now. Interestingly, the male and female HOSP would not go inside to spring the trap. It’s almost as if they know what’s in there.
ScotMarch 25, 2017 at 8:42 pm #3344March 25, 2017 at 8:44 pm #3345
Trying to post pics from my drop box account. Not succeeding. Very frustrating. I wish this site made posting pics easier.March 25, 2017 at 8:54 pm #3346March 26, 2017 at 1:16 pm #3358
Ok, for those keeping track at home(?nobody so far, lol), within 24 hours of loading the Van Ert, I trapped and killed the male house sparrow. It was my first time doing that, and I took absolutely no pleasure in it. Honestly, it saddened me to have to do it, but I likened it to trying to peacefully coexist next door to a rapist pedophile.
Anyway, my method of disposal was to swing it around in the bag rapidly in one direction, then rapidly in the opposite direction, then blunt force trauma against a tree. Again, not a pleasant thing to have to do, but if my third attempt to post the pics of his victim are successful, everyone will likely agree this is what has to be done in order to succesfully be blue bird landlords.
March 26, 2017 at 5:30 pm #3361David in Stafford,VAParticipant
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It is an eye opener when it happens in another nest box. It is tragic and a real eye opener when it happens in one’s own nest box. Sorry you had to go through that experience Scot. and glad that you were able to get one of the HOSP out of the way. Good luck on the rest of your year.
Stafford, VAMarch 26, 2017 at 8:57 pm #3363LisaParticipant
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Ugh! I can’t even imagine! I never pictured myself hacking a snake to bits until it ate my 15 day old nestlings last year :(March 26, 2017 at 9:42 pm #3365
I caught two birds in my DSRT later today. They looked like female house sparrows, but I’m not skilled enough to tell for sure. The males are obvious in appearance. I was weighing the option of leaving them there as live bait when I saw two male house finches on top of the DSRT appearing to almost comfort the trapped females. At that point I questioned whether the trapped birds were actually house sparrows versus female finches so I let them out.
Does anyone have a reliable way to ID female house sparrows?March 26, 2017 at 10:32 pm #3367tamseaModerator
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Thank you for letting those birds out since you weren’t sure. Many people kill native birds I’m afraid. House finches have stripes on their chest. The female house sparrow does not. I’ll get to my computer and show you some photos. But in a nutshell a female house sparrow has a light colored chest,NO stripes on the chest, No spot on his chest.
So sorry about your male bluebird. We all know how you feel! It’s awful to find.
TammyMarch 26, 2017 at 10:35 pm #3368dpurdueParticipant
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Female hosp will have a light stripe behind their eye and a solid colored chest
Finches will have a striped chest and no stripe behind the eye
Lots of good ID info at sialis.org
A possible solution to your other problem is to add another entrance hole to the house
This gives the bluebird an escape route if under attack
I think sialis.org has info on this as well
Darrell in KCMarch 27, 2017 at 2:55 pm #3381
Scot, without even seeing the trapped birds I bet they were HOSP. HOFI don’t usually enter cavities and are not cavity nesting birds. It does happen but it’s unlikely.
This link might help with ID: http://www.sialis.org/otherbrownbirds.htm
Atlanta, GAMarch 29, 2017 at 8:36 pm #3416
Well crap. I didn’t read well. You were talking about your DRST. Yep. HOFI could easily be in there and if males were hopping around outside the trap you probably did trap the females.
Atlanta, GAMarch 29, 2017 at 9:25 pm #3417
Then I’m glad I released them. The good news is since I trapped and killed the male HOSP, there have been none near the nest box, and this morning a pair of TRES were on the box looking to claim it. My other box has a pair of Blues. I’m waiting for nest building to begin.
Does anybody have any evidence that slot entrances deter HOSP compared to the standard 1.5 inch round hole?March 29, 2017 at 10:38 pm #3418LisaParticipant
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The problem is that they apparently attract HOWR which can be just as bad…April 3, 2017 at 8:49 pm #3464
Some people think a slot box deters HOSP. It does not. And, as Lisa pointed out, HOWR love them because the slot makes it easier to load the box with sticks.
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