Trapped sparrows

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Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:45 am
Location: Texas

Two questions: How far away do I need to take my trapped sparrows to ensure they don't come back? Secondly, I think some of my previously trapped sparrows have come back because I only took them a few miles away. Do I need to do anything differently to my trap (I have a repeating trap) as now I think they have figured out that it's not a good thing to go in there. Thanks.
William A
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:35 am
Location: AL/Marion

Glad you are trapping hosp but you need to euthanize them. Trapping and relocating does not help the problem. Read the thread down below about disposing of trapped sparrows. Good Luck
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Ed Svetich-WI
Posts: 798
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:05 pm
Location: Brooks, Wi (McGinnis Lake)
Martin Colony History: 24 Super and Excluder Gourds on two gourd racks, all SREH. Full occupancy. My philosophy is to maximize fledge % with existing cavities rather than adding gourds to grow colony, thus providing opportunities for new colony expansion. Fledge over 100 nestlings yearly from 24 gourds. Band nestlings in cooperation with state university. 2019 Adendum: Reduced colony size to 12 gourds to focus on more intensive management regimen.

Not many options for you. Trapping them again once they are trap shy is very difficult. Clip the flight feathers on one wing and release them if euthanizing them is an issue.
Patrick W. Dusek
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 9:35 pm
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

You must put them in the trash. Not fare to another landlord that you dump your sparrows on them. Think about it.
Spring time yet???
Elijah Clark
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:52 pm
Location: Bend, TX
Martin Colony History: Put up the colony in 2015 and had a mean and nasty fight with the sparrows, yet one pair stayed and five fledged.

The best thing to do is to quickly dispatch them in a humane way. has a variety of humane methods that will bring a quick and painless death.
"A good sparrow is a dead sparrow"
2015- 1 pair
2016- 12 pair
2017- 0 pair (predators). Back to square one.
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 12:44 pm
Location: Ontario/Burlington

Euthanasia is the only real solution. I agree with Elijah, Sialis has some great information. Releasing is just moving the problem (and it may come right back) a big box store may be the only spot they are not causing major damage to our native birds but even then they will likely just leave and cause problems for the nearby area...not good.

Humane Euthanasia is quite quick and simple (less trouble than driving them somewhere). Cervical dislocation (break the neck) if you have the fortitude and hands for it, or what I do is a canister of C02 gas (co2 bike tire inflate-er from the local cycling shop fits in my pocket and a box of small canisters), put bird in bag, slowly fill bag with gas and it falls asleep and dies (to fast and they do freak out a bit but still a fast demise. Both are also veterinary approved methods, if done properly)
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2004 8:29 am
Location: Meridianville/Alabama

I, like you, do not kill the sparrows. I take them 25 miles away and have no problem with returns. I understand the reasons behind killing them yet I will not do it.
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Posts: 313
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 1:16 pm
Location: Erie, PA

How about trimming their flight or tail feathers before releasing them? They will be able to feed but won't nest, and then you could release them right in your yard, no need to drive 50 miles round trip, and release them near someone else's bluebird or martin housing?

Edit: link to how-to trim info:
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Matt F.
Posts: 3895
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

One thing to add about feather trimming.
If you clip wing feathers, you want to make sure and clip the correct ones so that flight is more difficult, but they can still fly.
Otherwise they're stuck on the ground, where they will be either eaten by an animal, or slowly waste away - which is not humane.
Tail clipping is easier, and has the same basic effect of taking them out of the breeding cycle for one season.
San Antonio Martin landlord Mike Scully noted some years back, that clipping the tail feathers of male house sparrows, not only makes them less attractive to prospective mates (the tail feathers are used in courtship displays), but it also makes it almost impossible for them to actually copulate, as they need their tails to provide the needed balance and stability.
All of this of course only takes them out of the breeding chain for one season, as they molt and the trimmed feathers are replaced with new ones.
Last edited by Matt F. on Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Birdguy / OH
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 2:05 pm
Location: Cincinnati Ohio area

In the spring if you remove a sparrow another will take its place. The males are lined up ready to snatch up prime nesting locations. So it is not the trapped ones returning. Sparrows simply do not have homing capabilities like other birds.

If you dispatch - which if you are into conserving purple martins you should dispatch without hesitation - then the easiest way is to transfer into a catch bag (mesh linen bag available from most large dept stores). Then one quick swing of the bag onto a...

You get the idea. Quick. Humane.

A male HOSP in breeding mode is like a machine of nature. I've never seen something so determined, so single minded. In North America HOSP are not on the same level as native and migratory song birds. They are not protected for a reason.
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