November 15, 2015 at 9:10 pm #674
I really enjoy feeding cardinals, finches, juncos, etc. in the winter and just this week put out my seed feeder (BOSS). Just looked out there and there must be two dozen HOSP getting fat on my seed – I hate it! I know it is suggested to use BOSS instead of the cheap seed, and I just bought 40# of the sunflower seed and thinking about taking out my feeder entirely.November 15, 2015 at 10:49 pm #675
Ugh! That’s always a dilemma, Carol. To feed or not to feed. HOSP typically don’t “prefer” BOSS, but they certainly will eat it if nothing else is available. Maybe taking the feeders in temporarily will encourage them to move on, and then you can put the feeders back out…OR, maybe you can use the opportunity to set up the repeating trap with the seed they DO prefer, and clean out the population. Many people have found that winter is a great time for trapping.November 16, 2015 at 1:17 am #678
Cher, I have tried and tried the ground trap put right in the area as the seed feeder and MOST of the time I catch everything except HOSP! They are just too smart – but I will have to try that while the weather is still not too bad. And if that doesn’t work the first week I will probably be forced to take the feeder down. BUT the trouble is that the HOSP also have found my suet feeder which is right on my back deck railing, so they are there, too. My best bet is to trap them out in the back yard by the feed seeder I guess. Thanks for the reply.November 16, 2015 at 2:08 pm #683
Carol, have you tried elevating the ground trap a little bit? Placing it on a low table or picnic bench, or even on top of an upturned plastic bin can reduce the number of non-HOSP captures.November 16, 2015 at 10:18 pm #699tamseaModerator
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Carol, I have tons of house sparrows feeding at my feeders during the winter too. I try to trap but if that doesnt’ work sometimes I just grit my teeth waiting for spring to come and then I put the trap out again. I will not let the HOSP spoil my enjoyment of watching the feeding winter birds. Now, the suet problem is starting to really irritate me. The HOSP all over my suet and peanut feeders!! It does infuriate me but I never get to the point where I take down my feeders because of it. But that’s my choice.
TammyNovember 17, 2015 at 2:49 am #700
Cher, yes, I always elevate the trap – usually set it up on large plastic growing pots (maybe 12″ tall) on a platform. HOWEVER, you have hit on an idea – maybe I am not elevating it enough! Is the height of the trap what keeps other birds out? I do have an unused picnic bench I could put it on. And Tammy, I like your grit about not letting the HOSP enjoy your winter bird eating/watching. That is really my quandary right now. I just cannot hardly stand watching them getting fat on my food!! Oh well, I will just have to make a decision. Thanks.November 17, 2015 at 2:58 am #701
I know if I put the trap right on the ground, I’m more likely to get Chipping Sparrows or other sparrows. I usually don’t elevate it too high, but you could try that and see if it makes a difference. Blaine even has a photo on his website of a trap mounted on top of a bird feeder pole! (top row, third picture from left)December 6, 2015 at 5:53 pm #757BrendaVParticipant
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You can also try something like the Magic Halo around the feeder or feeding area.
Using stiff mono-filament hanging around the feeder, seems to prevent the sparrows from approaching but cardinals and other native seem to not mind it.December 7, 2015 at 1:53 am #758
Thanks, Brenda for the idea – may give this a try this year.December 8, 2015 at 2:30 am #760tamseaModerator
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The only caution with that is, the house sparrows might get used to the monofilament line and so they may not be as spooked as usual with your sparrow spooker. I don’t do it for that reason but give it a try and see what happens. let us know.
TammyDecember 29, 2015 at 2:15 pm #798CosmoParticipant
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Carol, when you see all the hosps go take your feeder down
Brome makes a great feeder that has weight adjustable perches
mine are set to close the feed ports if more then one sparrow tries eating.
the rest have to pick up the scraps off the ground.
I set the alarm to go off an hour before sunset
when most hosps are roosting
add a cup of seeds to the platform tray
and Viola, cardinals show up :)December 30, 2015 at 1:22 pm #800madamewingnutParticipant
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I do not view HOSP at feeders during fall and winter as a problem, but rather as a major trapping opportunity. The HOSP coming to your feeders are living in your area. Whether you feed them or not, allowed to remain, they will be in your nest boxes come spring. Get rid of as many as you can now. I only have major success trapping them when I have live decoys in trap. Trick/tip to catching them if they are at your feeders – remove food from feeders for short time and bait trap, but careful monitoring while doing this as you may catch native birds also. Once I have live decoy, I fill feeders again and bait trap with stuff HOSP especially like. Once nest season begins, I discontinue feeding any seeds that HOSP will eat. I don’t want to attract any nest site competitors to yard that could harm nesting birds and there is plenty of natural food for birds during nest season.January 9, 2016 at 3:27 pm #821
Thanks everyone for your input – I will be returning my ground trap to location in the next day or two – we were gone a few days & got busy after the 1st of the year – it’s next on my agenda!!September 23, 2016 at 10:57 am #2928dpurdueParticipant
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Try using fishing line on your feeders-it will keep 80-90% of sparrows off.
Also sparrows don’t like short perches on feeders. There is also a feeder designed for clingers only that will deter most sparrows especially when combined with fishing line.
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