April 24, 2022 at 11:20 am #24159
Good morning, does anyone have suggestions on how to dispose of the house sparrows in a re-usable live trap?
Thank you!April 24, 2022 at 7:51 pm #24164ChrisParticipant
Wearing gloves, i quickly twist their necks. Here is a link on Sialis:April 24, 2022 at 10:43 pm #24165Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
I don’t like touching them, so after I get them out of their box into a plastic sack I quickly smack the sack on something solid like cement a couple of times and it will do the trick – them just dispose of the sack and all – no handling them at all. (This is assuming you are using an in-box trap – I don’t use the ground traps)April 25, 2022 at 8:49 am #24166
Thank you for the suggestion! The link did not work, unfortunately. Will definitely consider that, although I think I’d prefer a method that doesn’t involve handling the birds…..I’m using the Deluxe Repeating Sparrow Trap.April 25, 2022 at 8:54 am #24167
Hi Carol, it’s a ground trap, so I may need a different method. I like the idea of not handling the birds, though…..!April 25, 2022 at 9:53 am #24169
You can find that link mentioned above by searching for this: “sialis captured birds.” It comes right up. I use the ether (engine starter) method. I took a giant plastic cookie container; any kind of oversize plastic thing with a tight fitting lid would do. I made a hole in the side of it with a kraft knife to fit a cork. Then I covered the whole thing with a thick plastic black bag so when the birds go in, they feel safe. If they see light, they try to fly out. I lined the hole with gorilla tape so it’s smooth and doesn’t injure the birds. Then add the cork. I grab hosp out of the trap, put them into the container and quickly add the lid. I can fit 7-8 in this at one time–you just have to be quick with the lid! Remove the cork, a few squirts of ether, and they go to sleep. I put the jar in a 5-gallon bucket, add a plant saucer on top with a brick and let it sit outside. I carry the jar back and forth to the trap in a bucket. It keeps the birds more settled for some reason.April 25, 2022 at 9:54 am #24170
Btw I misspoke. I taped the cork hole so the cork could slide in and out easily. The birds don’t go near that, except one feisty male one time.April 25, 2022 at 10:48 am #24172
Thanks Julie, that sounds like a good method, and I may give that a try.April 25, 2022 at 12:05 pm #24173
It’s pretty hands-off, but ether is highly flammable (no smoking around it), so you have to take care. After disposing of the dead birds, I keep my empty container outside in the 5-gallon bucket open to the air so the fumes can leave. If it’s going to rain, I turn it upside down in the bucket and put the saucer on. But I cannot ever bring that bucket into the garage even sealed when the ether is in it. Powerful fumes. If it’s bad weather, I put it on the porch. I’d like to learn how to euthanize them in my hand, but I haven’t been able to get there mentally. If someone would show me, I could maybe do it. I’m not sure.
I was going to use Carol’s method, but I was catching a trap-full. I’d have 6 or more to get rid of at once! The jar seems to work for that. Put your cork hole higher on the side (toward the top). Ether is heavier than air, so when you spray it in, it will drop to the bottom on the container and bathe the birds in a snooze-inducing cloud. I used Gorilla tape (duct tape would work, too) to attach the plastic bag to the container.
You just have to be quick with the lid when you’re adding birds to it. In the beginning I let 1 or 2 escape because I was fumbling around. Now I keep the lid right beside me and when I dump the birds in, I lay my gloved hand over the hole, then add the lid. If they see light, they’ll fly straight up at you, which is exciting in a bad way!April 25, 2022 at 12:13 pm #24174
Thank you, Julie! I’m hoping for a non-exciting experience, so I’m a little nervous about getting the HOSP out of the trap. What kind of trap are you using? The elevator trap is the one I’m partial towards….April 25, 2022 at 12:53 pm #24175
Mine is the DRST with the elevator. Is that the kind you have? Deluxe repeating? With the wooden back end with an exit hole cut in it? I set mine on the ground, too. I read a tip on here about setting the trap on a piece of cardboard, and I do that now. I have a collection of pre-cut pieces in the garage! I do this b/c I set the trap on a straw-covered path in my veg garden and I don’t want all those seeds sprouting they throw everywhere. I cut a piece big enough to extend the length of the trap plus maybe 2-4 inches on most sides. I lay an old board (2×2 square) against the front of the trap–it gives me a place to toss some extra bread pieces–it makes them visible (they’re invisible in the straw). I use bread and cheap millet-filled seed mix as bait. I keep the trapped ones healthy by including seed and water in there, which is where the seed gets tossed about.
I kneel on a kneeling pad to grab them. Tammy from Ohio inspired me that I could do it, because I thot I couldn’t! She said in a post that she’s the fastest hand in the west or some such thing at grabbing them out of the trap. So I took that to heart and jumped in. I was nervous at first, but now I can do it very quickly, even with an impending thunderstorm! If I’m tired, I don’t do it. That’s when I have mishaps. You can do this! It beats finding a mangled bluebird in a box…April 25, 2022 at 1:17 pm #24176
Great! That’s the one I am planning to buy! It looks like the best one out there. You’re happy with it?
More questions, if you don’t mind:
So you always keep a few in there, as bait?
And after a while, don’t the others take notice and avoid the trap?
Thanks for the encouragement! This will toughen me up! Ugh, they are so detestable. But I really wanted to avoid handling them, so I was thinking of shooting them with a pellet gun. I hope that wouldn’t damage the trap? I think drowning them would mess up the wood. The ether process seems complicated, so if I handle them, maybe I’d get them into a mesh bag and hit it against a cement wall. Is that an OK idea, you think?April 25, 2022 at 2:21 pm #24177
I really like this trap. I’ve used the in-box traps, too, but started with the DRST. If you have a bunch to get rid of, then it’s a good idea to keep the trap out and keep some in there as decoys. They actually attract the others with that awful chirping. My best catching is when I get some young ones–then the mothers seem to hop right in to help! It sounds dreadful, but it works.
I cover my trap at night with a tarp due to wildlife. I use boards to weigh down the tarp and discourage cats, raccoons, foxes, etc. You want your decoys to be healthy. I read the entire DRST thread here and saw pics of someone’s set up. They had a perch (bamboo stake) in the cage for a perch, water and seed. I do all of this now, including adding a long plastic tray on top to create shade on hot days. If it calls for storms, I cover the trap (with a tarp) for 2 reasons: 1) mostly to keep decoys alive & healthy; 2) to keep the seed i put in there for them dry, along with the wood. I actually catch them during rainstorms! I keep one side of the tarp elevated with some chubby short boards, including an entry point where they could hop over to the bait. Maybe they go in for shelter or food, but I often remove the tarp and I’ve got more than when I started!
During rainy spells (few days), I find the wood swells a bit and the elevator may not work as smoothly. A sunny day is all it takes to right things. So you definitely don’t want to submerge the trap.
I think whacking them against a wall would work easily. That’s basically what Carol does, and she’s a pro. I’m still a newbie. The laundry bag is a great idea! It took me a whole year to work up to saying, “I can do this.” Then I put up the bluebird boxes and bought the trap. You can definitely do this.April 25, 2022 at 2:43 pm #24179
Hooray, thanks Julie! I’m going to order one this week. So glad to have discovered this forum. We are new to the rural life (in PA). We put up a bluebird house, and a feeder for meal worms. We attracted a beautiful pair of bluebirds right away, and a few days later found a terrible sight in the bird house. Awful. I wanted to “declare war” on the sparrows, but didn’t know the first thing about it. So it’s great to discover resources like this online. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you for being so generous with your time and knowledge. I really had doubted whether I could actually do this. I’ve shot skunks and groundhogs, but that was from a distance. This will be “up close.” Wish me well. Thanks again.April 25, 2022 at 2:58 pm #24180
Congrats on getting bluebirds! When we moved here, I saw them chasing thru the neighborhood in spring, and that’s what lured me to putting up boxes. I thot of a few more tips for you.
I don’t leave male HOSP in the trap as decoys overnight. They’re too aggressive. If you catch one on a sunny day, you may get another that day if they’re battling for territory, but then they may fight in the trap. Occasionally I’ve had the HOSP gang up on one bird in the trap. If I spot any blood, I get the wounded one out to euthanize. Or any that look like they’ve hurt themselves in there. I try to keep 2-3 in there as decoys and then remove when they hit 6-7. When there’s that many it’s chaos and they tend to peck at each other. If a native bird accidentally gets in with a bunch of HOSP, that can turn ugly, so try to keep an eye on it.
When you reach into the trap, they tend to flit about. Before removing the HOSP, remove the water dish, if you have one, or they splash as they flit and that can get into your face. I lay an extra glove over the back door when it’s open because one time one flew out!! If they get too worked up, be still a few moments, pulling your hand toward the back of the trap. You’ll be an old pro in no time!
If anything ever happd to this trap, I would replace it, so yes, I really like it. It’s super effective. Keep a tally somewhere of how many you catch. You’ll be shocked. My first year I caught 152 total. I thot there were maybe 12-24 out there. Boy was I wrong!
In the beginning, I left the trap out for weeks at a time. Now I usually put it out for about 2 weeks at a time–at the start of the season, when I spot new HOSP flocks arriving, late fall when they’re hungry–I try to be more strategic. How long it’s out depends on how many I’m catching and seeing. I put it out twice last year for 2 weeks each and never caught anything. So it’s possible to decrease the population. I had neighbors who fed cheap feed, but they’ve moved now, and that has likely helped HOSP to move on, too. Best wishes on your new rural life! We’re in Central PA.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.