Identifying Female House Sparrows

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  • #4358
    Scot
    Participant

      All,

      I wanted to share this with the group as a learning event.

      I continue to have occasional issues with identifying female HOSP. I won’t euthanize birds caught in my DRST unless I’m 100% positive. Yesterday, I trapped what looked like a female HOSP, but she was missing that typical white stripe behind each eye on the cheek, so I let her go.

      Then upon inspecting the trap, I saw an egg that she must have laid overnight while in the trap. The egg was addled probably from her hopping around all night trying to escape. Pictures are below……..

      HOSP egg<img

      It appears this is a HOSP egg, and I allowed a fertile egg laying female HOSP back out into the wild to wreak havoc.

      Bummer.

      Scot in PA

      • This topic was modified 6 years, 12 months ago by Scot.
      #4359
      Scot
      Participant

        #4361
        Lisa
        Participant

          You did the right thing if to 1000% sure.

          #4363
          Brad
          Participant

            Could you keep her in the trap with food and water until you get a positive ID next time? I’m considering getting a DRST. What’s your capture rate with them?

            I have lots of HOSP around and a family with several young hanging out in my backyard. What other birds do you commonly catch?

            #4366
            dogsandbirds
            Moderator

              Live and learn, Scot. Don’t beat yourself up about it. You did right since you weren’t sure.

              There are a couple of other markers you can use to ID HOSP. The females have no stripes on their breast feathers. You can also closely examine the beak. HOSP have what I like to call a distinctive “kill tip” on theirs.

              Gin
              Atlanta, GA

              #4369
              Scot
              Participant

                Thanks, Gin.

                Brad, I’ve caught and euthanized quite a few HOSP, both male and female, using the DRST. Some of the other species I’ve captured and released are other native Sparrows, an occasional finch, a few cowbirds, and one female cardinal who was small enough to get caught. I’d say 50% of what I catch is HOSP. This was the first time I caught one that laid an egg while in there.

                I think it’s a worthwhile investment if you have the $$.

                I’ve also used a van ert successfully in early Spring, but now with active nesting going on with my EABL, TRES, and chickadees, I don’t use them at this time.

                Scot

                #4404
                tamsea
                Moderator

                  That doesn’t look like a HOSP egg to me….anyone else? If she didn’t have that light streak behind her eye then you did the right thing.

                  Tammy

                  #4407
                  tamsea
                  Moderator

                    Maybe a song sparrow egg? I’ve collected a few HOSP eggs (don’t ask me why) and none look like that. The speckles are all over.

                    Tammy

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