Is it too late to kill a sparrow

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JHeap
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:29 pm
Location: Texas/Waller

I have had great success this year ridding my colony of sparrows. Between my husband and son, they were able to shoot any that tried to even hover of the housing! There is just one persistent couple that has escaped them. They have moved into one of my artificial gourds. I have pulled the nest each day but yesterday there was an egg. I am afraid of sparrow revenge which happened last year.

If my husband continues to try to shoot but only takes out one of them, will the other return and take out revenge on my new babies and lots of eggs?

Is it better to let them nest in this one gourd?
2012 - 19 pair; 109 Hatched; 99 fledged
2011 - 19 pair; 55 fledged
rrmartins
Posts: 1420
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Its NEVER to late to kill rats. You really need to get the male so he just won't bring another mate back.
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Do you have a gourd trap? If so, then let them build their nest and lay eggs, then set the trap in place. When you catch one of them, put them in your repeating bait trap if you have one. If not, then kill it. Leave the eggs in place and trap the other one.

Sparrows get crazy when they're trapped and may very well break all the eggs while trying to escape. So, take one or 2 eggs out of the nest before setting the trap. These will be used for bait for trapping the other HOSP- leaving the other 2 or 3 for the first one.

If you don't have a gourd trap, then let them build the nest and lay eggs. Again, remove a couple with which to trap the second HOSP. pull the nest, except for the nest cup containing the eggs. Put a glue trap in the gourd and put the nest cup with the eggs on the back edge of the glue trap. Also, cut a 1 3/8" hole in a plastic lid (like a cottage cheese or sour cream lid) and secure it over the entrance of the door to keep martins out of the glue trap. KEEP AN EYE ON THIS gourd until you see the HOSP go in! Do not take your eye off of it!

Retrieve the trapped HOSP, then reset for the second HOSP.

I have trapped males first and the female has drawn in another male and I have trapped females first and the male has drawn in another female. Try your best to get BOTH of them. They are 'committed' to your site now.
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
rrmartins
Posts: 1420
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

KathyF wrote:Do you have a gourd trap? If so, then let them build their nest and lay eggs, then set the trap in place. When you catch one of them, put them in your repeating bait trap if you have one. If not, then kill it. Leave the eggs in place and trap the other one.

Sparrows get crazy when they're trapped and may very well break all the eggs while trying to escape. So, take one or 2 eggs out of the nest before setting the trap. These will be used for bait for trapping the other HOSP- leaving the other 2 or 3 for the first one.

If you don't have a gourd trap, then let them build the nest and lay eggs. Again, remove a couple with which to trap the second HOSP. pull the nest, except for the nest cup containing the eggs. Put a glue trap in the gourd and put the nest cup with the eggs on the back edge of the glue trap. Also, cut a 1 3/8" hole in a plastic lid (like a cottage cheese or sour cream lid) and secure it over the entrance of the door to keep martins out of the glue trap. KEEP AN EYE ON THIS gourd until you see the HOSP go in! Do not take your eye off of it!

Retrieve the trapped HOSP, then reset for the second HOSP.

I have trapped males first and the female has drawn in another male and I have trapped females first and the male has drawn in another female. Try your best to get BOTH of them. They are 'committed' to your site now.
Follow Kathy's advice, she is an expert when it comes to the rat birds.
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
JHeap
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:29 pm
Location: Texas/Waller

DARN. My husband took out the female tonight before I even finished my post! I will have to make him stay home from work until he gets the male! It is the only bird that I allow my husband and son to shoot that they are not required to eat!
2012 - 19 pair; 109 Hatched; 99 fledged
2011 - 19 pair; 55 fledged
pmcharter1
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:59 pm
Location: iowa/madrid

i have two tri houses, 12 room. i empty out the sparrow nests daily, but now that the martins are nesting , i let it go. the martins usally drive them away if they dont want them. they will tolerate them being in a room, not a lot of rooms. mine only has one room per house with sparrows in it, but ive cleaned them out daily. in 15 yrs , ive never had a sparow free home. when the martins start nesting, i leave them alone, if they dont want them, they ill take care of them, when martins nest, its time to quit, and let things work out!
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

JHeap wrote:DARN. My husband took out the female tonight before I even finished my post! I will have to make him stay home from work until he gets the male! It is the only bird that I allow my husband and son to shoot that they are not required to eat!
YAY!!! :lol: :lol:
Tastes like chicken! Hmmmmmm.... :lol:
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

pmcharter1 wrote:i have two tri houses, 12 room. i empty out the sparrow nests daily, but now that the martins are nesting , i let it go. the martins usally drive them away if they dont want them. they will tolerate them being in a room, not a lot of rooms. mine only has one room per house with sparrows in it, but ive cleaned them out daily. in 15 yrs , ive never had a sparow free home. when the martins start nesting, i leave them alone, if they dont want them, they ill take care of them, when martins nest, its time to quit, and let things work out!
And you never will have a sparrow-free home if you keep letting them nest. "Let things work out"? Would it be a correct assumption then that you don't do nest checks?

This is what comes from "letting them work it out" - the sparrow wins. Sorry, I don't subscribe to 'they will take care of them'.
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Image
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
DornCounty
Posts: 2172
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:58 pm
Location: Rural SE Kansas
Martin Colony History: .
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Trio-Jedi

kathy what glue traps do you use? Cause all mine caught were a few feathers.
2017 - Home & Public Colonies - 300 Cavities
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

DornCounty wrote:kathy what glue traps do you use? Cause all mine caught were a few feathers.
Dorn - I use these. I think the black ones with the sticky stuff don't work very well, but these are awesome! I have a dedicated pair of scissors and cut them in half.

http://www.amazon.com/Catchmaster-Mouse ... B001GTXOSE
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
JHeap
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:29 pm
Location: Texas/Waller

Once we get rid of the male should I close this particular gourd up with the assumption that no new martins will arrive this late?

Just don't want a new sparrow couple to move in
Attachments
some of my 2012 babies!
some of my 2012 babies!
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2012 - 19 pair; 109 Hatched; 99 fledged
2011 - 19 pair; 55 fledged
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

JHeap wrote:Once we get rid of the male should I close this particular gourd up with the assumption that no new martins will arrive this late?

Just don't want a new sparrow couple to move in
No, IMHO you should leave the gourd open. If you close it and a HOSP does come around, then - while there's no guarantee that he will go to the open gourd, if it's closed he most certainly will go into the martins' gourds.
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
John A Green Jr
Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:54 pm
Location: North Carolina/Elizabeth City
Martin Colony History: Currently have 4 gourd racks with 24 Bo-9/11 gourds on each. All have tunnels and porches. One Lowes martin house.

I watched one of my PM's run a HOSP all over the place yesterday. It was entertaining for a while. I wanted to see if he would succeed because I always shoot them before they have to worry about them. But this time I just wanted to watch for a while and see what would come of it. After about 30 minutes the martin went on to other stuff. I gladly took up his slack and took him out. Twenty minutes later 2 more HOSP showed up and started investigating and I disposed of one of them too. There's no way I am ever letting them hang around here, JMO.
Proud Martineer

2011- 1 pair
2012- 10 pair
2013- 28 pair
2014- 33 pair
2015- 53 pair
2016- 73 pair
2017-
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Yay, John! You're right - it's not whether a martin can run off a HOSP or not, it's how much damage the sneaky HOSP does to the martins' eggs and nestlings when the martins leave to feed. :-(
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
JHeap
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:29 pm
Location: Texas/Waller

Thanks guys. I'll keep sicking my husband on them! I am not sure if I could do the whole rat trap tape thing but Kathy if we don't get this guy this weekend, I might have to resort to that. In our house, I like to think sparrow disposal is my husband's job! :P
2012 - 19 pair; 109 Hatched; 99 fledged
2011 - 19 pair; 55 fledged
AnnieM
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:57 pm
Location: Spring Branch/Canyon Lake ~ Mystic Shores, Comal County, TX
Martin Colony History: 2012 - 4 pair
2013 - 11 pair
2014 - 12 pair
2015 - 14 pair
2016 - Arrival Feb 28 - 17 pair
2017 - Full house for first time. 24 gourds all occupied. :-)

Kathy, thank you for the detailed instructions on the glue trap. I've read everyone's comments re trapping HOSPs and as of this morning am 7:0 (7 me, HOSP 0). BUT, I messed up royally in the process. I was able to trap the first couple easily, but then had problems. I read all reports re HOSP rage and realized my mistake of removing the nest. Finally I caught the male 2nd time in my Troyer tunnel gourd trap. When trying to get him out, put the plastic bag over the large round opening. He wasn't making any noise and I started to doubt he was in there so tilted the gourd upside down. DIM BULB MISTAKE! I failed to secure the silver trap door and it fell off and the dang HOSP flew off. I was so upset! Then we had to leave town for 4 days. Came back yesterday and this morning found the male with a mate stationed on the gourd porch. I went out & checked the gourd; no eggs but a completed nest. I set the trap and no sooner got back to my garage and looked over and the trap door was down. Back I went with my Checker Auto Parts starter fluid, zip-lock bag and attitude. This time I decided to put the bag over the small entrance hole, secured it and lifted up the trap door. IMMEDIATELY out flew both male and female into the bag! I was elated! Two at the same time! A teeny spray into the bag and they were gone.

All of your posts are so helpful to those of us who are new. Some said the HOSPs are sneaky, be careful, but maybe we have to lose a few in order to get our technique down. The best advice any of you gave was to leave the nest in place and better yet, let them lay eggs. I am now resting easier knowing that the PM eggs will be temporarily safe (scheduled to start hatching tomorrow) until another HOSP shows up.

Thank you all for the posts and information you share. Makes the learning curve much easier. And Kathy, thank you for posting your photo. It's sad to see, but helps reinforce what we all need to be doing to protect the PMs as much as possible.
PMCA Member
2012 - 4 pair
2013 - 11 pair
2014 - 12 pair
2015 - 14 pair
2016 - Arrival Feb 29/17 pair
2017 - Full house first time-24 gourds all occupied :)
pmcharter1
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:59 pm
Location: iowa/madrid

kathy,
you have a bigger problem with sparrows than i do, if you read my post, i said, i cleaned them out daily, out of my houses, ,and i do nest cks daily. I do what what works for me, it is a known fact, that if a martin, doesnt want the intruder their, they will drive it away. , i still clean them out daily, until my martins begin to nest, im cautious, more of disturbing them. my colony is strong, and i have yet to have baby martins laying on my grass.during the day , when my colony is less active, i lower my houses, and dispose of the nests that sparrows leave,. i have that one room, that they want to nest in, and i keep cleaning it out, you must have more than i do., just curious, what kind of houses do you have?i watced a sparrow get close to one of my martin nests a week ago, and watched them fight them off and drag it to the ground, disabled it, i cleaned that one room out, capped it off, no sparrows in that house as all the other rooms are taken by martins, , when they try to intrude, my martins drive them away.my neighbor tried the sparrow trap, no luck, he catches it, sets it free, and another takes its place.,( or the same one) i just cap that one room off, and the rooms are all taken, and i told my neighbor that.its working for him also.whatever im doing seems to be working.Fyi, a martin lost to you, is a martin lost to me and every other land lord that feels the same as we do!
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

AnnieM - you're most welcome. The reward is hearing of success stories such as yours. 8) :wink: I don't want anyone to have to experience what I did. :-(

I too have experienced the 'one that got away'. It is a real bummer! I would sit there with my baggie in hand and think of all the things that just went wrong to allow the little cretin to slip right by me. Then I tell myself to get over it, I can't change what just happened and next time I need to be more careful.

I now try to have these little talks with myself as I approach the trapped sparrow and walk through each step of what I'm going to do to get him out before I open the door. :lol: :lol:

I have to tell you, I have never caught 2 at once, so good job!! :grin:
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

to pmcharter - When I first started hosting martins, bluebirds & tree swallows at this site, I was invaded by over 35 HOSP. I know the count because that's how many I killed. I mentor over 55 landlords and 3 of them are within 1 mile of me. We all started trapping & killing the HOSP. The next year, IIRC had approx 8-10 show up, the next year, when the slaughter above happened - only 3-4 showed up.

I have a Trendsetter and gourds for my martins and 13 tree swallow and bluebird nestboxes, and this year they are ALL full. I have over 72 pair of martins on board at this moment. The nestlings that were killed in the picture above happened in one of my bluebird boxes where a pair of tree swallows nested.

pmcharter - all I can say is good luck to you and your martins. You must have the only polite HOSP on the planet. At least you're not letting them nest and that's a good step in the right direction. I'm off my soap box now. :lol: . :wink:
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
pmcharter1
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:59 pm
Location: iowa/madrid

kathy,
trust me, i dont have no prefect polite HOSP, but we all work at it. we just fight the fight!i appreciate your insight,. i also have blue bird houses, on my split rail fence, posts, , i only have one house being looked and( occupied) the others , nothing? , last yr , all houses were full. thats got me concerned, any insight?and please , keep me posted on your martin colony, were all in this togeather!, keep in touch.
sincerely
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