March 21, 2020 at 10:28 am #7834
The Bluebird pair that showed up 2 weeks ago disappeared which left me alitte puzzled because they were defending the nestbox from other birds. After being gone awhile they showed up again this morning. Landed on the nestbox and went to check inside when a male house sparrow flew out and chased them away. There’s been no birds around the nestbox all this time. So the H.Sparrow may have just discovered it. He then managed to attract a mate and they vigorously started nest building. My heart sank. I went out and pulled the nesting material out and propped the door open. I watched as the male H.Sparrow returned and flew in circles around the nestbox dropping his beakful of nesting material. So far it seems to be working at keeping them out of the box. But I know if the Bluebirds come back it may discourage them as well. I’m so bummed out right now. I’ve had this nestbox up for 4-5 years with no H.Sparrow interference at all. Just had some problems with Wrens now and then. I’m thinking of going and buying a Gilbertson style nestbox (the PVC one) since I heard these are suppose to be Sparrow-proof. I have a slot-opening nestbox that has been up for years in a open field beside my house which has been a big hit with the Bluebirds until now that the H.Sparrows have suddenly taking a liking to it. Any thoughts? Anyone else have a Gilbertson PVC birdhouse?
Lancaster, PAMarch 21, 2020 at 4:44 pm #7836LisaParticipant
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No advice but I feel your pain. My bluebird pair had a nearly finished nest before the HOSP got it. I’m so sad!March 21, 2020 at 6:16 pm #7839
Sorry about your problem, Dana. Unfortunately, when we put up bluebird boxes we have to be ready to fight/rid the HOSP. See my info to Lisa about how I manage them. I realize some people are not in the same mindset as a lot of us are and that is okay, but it is truly necessary to decrease the number of HOSP to help increase our BB population.
P.S. It took me about a year to realize all of this and after about 12 years I have pretty good luck each season, usually with 2 and lots of time 3 different nestings. I have no experience/opinion about a Gilbertson box, but truly don’t believe ANY are HOSP proof.March 21, 2020 at 10:45 pm #7840SassyParticipant
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Oh Dana, I am so sorry to read about your experience with HOSP. I do not have any experience with a slot box either. Are you still seeing the pair of Bluebirds around. If you are, giving a slot box a try might be worth it.
Connie (PA)March 22, 2020 at 7:06 am #7844
I took your advice and just ordered a Van Ert Sparrow Trap online. There’s a YouTube video I found that shows you how it works and how to capture the bird after it’s been trapped inside the nestbox. Is there a humane way of disposing of it? Or I was thinking I can relocate the H.sparrow to the park and release it. I just want him out of my yard. I’ll have to wait a few days for the Van Ert Trap to be delivered. It can’t get here soon enough. – Regards, Dana
Lancaster, PAMarch 22, 2020 at 7:14 am #7845
See my reply to Carol. When I saw the male H.Sparrow aggressively go after the bluebirds and chase them away it made me furious. Not gonna let him win this battle.
Lancaster, PAMarch 22, 2020 at 7:28 am #7846
I’m about to grab some coffee and go monitor the situation. I was asking about the Gilbertson PVC nestbox. If you google it you’ll see what it looks like. It’s suppose to be sparrow resistant. I already have a slot-opening nestbox and up until this year it’s worked great. I’ve had 2-3 broods of bluebirds fledge from that box each summer without very many problems. I just ordered a Van Ert Sparrow Trap that Carol recommended. I’ll be putting it to good use once it gets here via the mail.
Lancaster, PAMarch 22, 2020 at 5:54 pm #7847
Dana, if you just release a HOSP he will just come back to your yard!!!March 24, 2020 at 1:50 am #7861
I was thinking if I relocate the H.Sparrow far enough away he won’t return. Was gonna release him in a park a mile or two from here but just realized the parks here are closed due to the Covid-19 virus outbreak. I will dispose of the Sparrow then after I trap him and capture him. Can you recommend a decent way to do this? Corny question I know. Also do I need to trap his female companion after I dispose of him? Isn’t it just the male H.Sparrows that “bond” to the nestbox?
Lancaster, PAMarch 24, 2020 at 10:28 pm #7868
Dana. I really don’t want to go into details on disposing – you need to use a sack to get him out of the box (put the sack over the whole box & open door & let him fly up into the sack and then grab the sack where the bird is & hold your hand together on the sack. It then doesn’t take but a split second to dispose of him. I have LOTS & LOTS of them here in the wintertime & into spring. If you do manage to “relocate” it, there will be more – and a mile or two away isn’t far enough for them to not to come back!
As far as the female, she will not return without the male being around (as a rule) so you would need to remove the nest. IF you were to capture the female first, you leave the nest there and male will try to entice another mate & you may get him the next time! Don’t give up.
We all really need to ponder this delicate question quite seriously before we decide to “invite” the bluebirds to our yard and then not protect them from the HOSP. We cannot do anything about the native birds, for instance the house wrens, other they try to use wren guards for them. Good luck.March 26, 2020 at 12:05 am #7869
Thanks Carol! I really appreciate all your helpful advice on this matter.
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