Sorry, Bob. I forgot to check in. :) Make sure you put the landing platform on. (someone on another forum forgot). ;) To get the house sparrows to come sprinkle seed on the landing platform and on top on the little wood area and of course liberally in the bait area. You can put it off the ground or on the groudn. Directions suggest off the ground but I keep it on the ground. Use white millet or mixed seed with white millet to start out. Later you can try other things. Put in under wherever your HOSP perch and then wait. check it all the time especially when it’s very cold or very hot out. It will trap native birds. You might want to check the weight arm. Two quarters taped together should make the arm go quickly to the ground with very little to no bounce. If that doesn’t work then adjust it. A decoy is a must. Either catch one with your Van Ert and put it in the holding area or wait ….eventually you’ll catch one in the trap. After the first one the others are easier to catch. Keep them alive in the holding area with bird cups that you buy at the pet store with hooks on them with food and water. You want to keep them alive as long as possible to draw the other ones in. Cover at night or in rainy weather to help keep alive longer.