Sparrow-Resistant Bird House

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  • #1295
    MissyS
    Participant

      Has any one purchased a Sparrow-Resistant Bird House from Duncraft or Foster & Smith? Does the slotted front entranced really work? I don’t see how this type of house will deter House Sparrows. Please share your success stories or unsuccessful stories.
      Thank You!

      #1296
      dogsandbirds
      Moderator

        I don’t have one, never will and from what I hear those things don’t work. Actually, I think a slot makes it easier for them to carry in all the trash they use to make a nest.

        Gin
        Atlanta, GA

        #1299
        MissyS
        Participant

          Gin,
          You seem to be really knowledgable about the different BB houses. What type of BB house do you prefer the most? I have the standard cedar wood box with the front opening door. I’m wondering if there is a better box than this that will attract BBs and deter HS.

          Pic: https://goo.gl/photos/y1qD4qTHfb5hGgsbA

          #1300
          Love my blues!
          Participant

            Hi Missy-

            The box looks fine as long as all the measurements are correct. I wanted to ask you if those halo-type objects are on your box to deter HOSP. If so, I’d remove them until you have the first egg laid. It could be that those fixtures are keeping bluebirds away, too, but once they lay an egg, they are committed. That’s when you put up your sparrow spooker & immediately remove it once all have fledged so HOSP don’t start getting comfortable with it, but you may already know that.

            Gin is more experienced than I am, but I just wanted to comment on the fixtures on & around your box.

            Nicole

            #1301
            MissyS
            Participant

              The picture I posted here is from last year when I had a pair of BBs with eggs in my box. I currently only have the monofilament string on my box. Should I remove that too until I have BBs with eggs?

              #1302
              River
              Participant

                I addressed the subject of slots on my website, Nestboxbuilder.com, as there is a misconception on why slot boxes work to deter sparrows in some areas (if they work at all):

                “Nestboxes with a horizontal slot rather than a conventional round or oval entry were designed to be less attractive to House Sparrows. These boxes are usually very shallow and have a small nest cavity. In some areas House Sparrows do not favor this combination, while in other regions slot boxes have no effect in deterring them. It is generally agreed that the small, shallow cavity of a slot box has more to do with deterring House Sparrows than the slot itself.”

                Two of the original slot box designs, the Troyer and the Hughes, have a very small floor: 3 1/8″ x 3 1/2″, for a total floor space of only 11 square inches. Because the fronts on these boxes angle outward as they go up, the higher the nest is built, the larger it becomes. But the bird doesn’t see this on initial examination – it sees only that tiny floor. Additionally, these two slot designs are very shallow – about 4 1/2″ from bottom of slot to top of floor. This “drop” on traditional NABS style boxes ranges from 5 1/2″ to 6″.

                Regional habitats also play a role in whether birds will accept or reject a box, slot or otherwise. If competition for cavities is severe, birds will be forced to nest in whatever is available, including slot boxes with tiny floors and shallow drops. If there are plenty of cavities for the birds to choose from, sparrows, in particular, will look for the larger cavity.

                The Duncraft box has a floor 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ (based on the dimensions shown in their ad), for a huge floor space of 30.25 square inches. Ironically, this large floor actually defeats the original premise of it being “sparrow resistant” (the Foster and Smith box appears slightly smaller, but it’s not small enough). And as Gin pointed out, a slot entry will actually make it easier for a sparrow to drag in all the trash this bird uses to build its nest.

                So the truth is, simply putting a slot entry on a box doesn’t do a thing to deter sparrows. The slot, a small floor size and a relatively shallow drop must all be combined into the design to even begin to hope it’s unattractive to sparrows.

                Hope this helps…

                Fred
                Waleska, GA
                NestboxBuilder

                #1311
                dogsandbirds
                Moderator

                  Fred, thank you so much for the most complete answer anybody could want.

                  Missy, my boxes are NABS style with a large roof, giving plenty of overhang. The floor is 5 x 4. I don’t know NEARLY as much as Fred does about boxes. He’s the one who can give you all the answers!

                  Gin
                  Atlanta, GA

                  #1315
                  River
                  Participant

                    You are welcome, my friend.

                    As far as boxes go, I guess I’m a hopeless nestbox junkie. :BagOverHead: (Hey, that icon looks like a two-hole mansion box). See?

                    Fred
                    Waleska, GA
                    NestboxBuilder

                    #1316
                    phillyblues
                    Participant

                      My boxes have two holes. The idea is that bluebirds can defend these boxes. They are not sparrow resistant but allows an escape for adult bluebirds to take the fight outside of the box. Linda Violett did a great deal of field research on this idea with great success.
                      Linda Violett dual holed mansions

                      • This reply was modified 8 years, 2 months ago by phillyblues.
                      #1318
                      Love my blues!
                      Participant

                        Hi Missy-
                        Maybe someone else could comment further that’s more experienced. My understanding, though, is that the monofilament string is a form of deterring HOSP, so I would probably remove it too, until you get your 1st egg.

                        Nicole

                        #1319
                        ReneeinWinslow
                        Participant

                          I, myself, have found that NO box I have offered will stop a HOSP if it really wants it other than a hole which is too small. But that would defeat the whole purpose of offering boxes to the Blues in the first place. The only thing that has shown to be IMO 98% fool proof is a sparrow spooker after the first egg is laid. One must remove the spooker after fledgling to prevent those little rat birds from losing their fear of the spooker. Also, I have found that a combination of a spooker AND a wren guard provides double protection against HOSPs. I’ve never used a spooker on a DEE nesting so can’t comment on that.


                          When the new wears off the old shines through

                          When The New Wears Off The Old Shines Through.

                          #1320
                          dogsandbirds
                          Moderator

                            As far as boxes go, I guess I’m a hopeless nestbox junkie. :BagOverHead: (Hey, that icon looks like a two-hole mansion box). See?

                            I will never see this :BagOverHead: the same way again. Leave it to you…

                            Gin
                            Atlanta, GA

                            #1321
                            dogsandbirds
                            Moderator

                              Missy, the monofilament won’t necessarily deter EABL. They don’t seem all too bothered by it from the reports I have read. There is that rare bird who is bothered by EVERYTHING though. How did you install it? For tips, see this: http://www.sialis.org/hosp.htm#halo

                              Gin
                              Atlanta, GA

                              #1324
                              tamsea
                              Moderator

                                Missy, do you have a big house sparrow problem? My suggestion is that you trap. Then you won’t have to deter them as much as you would if you didn’t.

                                Tammy

                                #1333
                                Love my blues!
                                Participant

                                  Glad to hear more about the monofilament because I didn’t want to make any suggestions with no experience & not knowing about any research. Thanks for the Sialis info, Gin. That’s something I may try in the future.

                                  I wanted to ask more about the 2-holed houses. Why isn’t everyone using so that the parents have a way to escape if under attack? I read the info that phillyblues sent, but would love to hear what others’ experiences & thoughts are. What are the cons of a 2-holed box?

                                  I’m so thankful for this forum!

                                  Nicole :cow2:

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