Sparrow Trap

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Post Reply
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:40 am
Location: TX/San Antonio

Hi all , I just got a repeating bait sparrow trap. Any thoughts on preferred bait, or placement. I put it out yesterday next to my two poles, (one metal house, one four gourd) and nothing so far.
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:45 am
Location: Texas

It takes a while for the sparrows to warm up to it, because it is new. Just leave it be. Make sure you put a bit of bait outside the trap, and some in the tunnel leading to the trap, and plenty in the middle. When you get one, wait quite a while and others will follow.
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: Marlboro County, SC
Martin Colony History: Capacity: 72 Troyers on 3 X Super-24 racks

Leave the sparrow with water / food inside the trap once you catch one so you can keep him in there as bait bird for a while.
Location: Marlboro County, SC

2020: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/11 - 71 pair - 298 hatched as of last nest check.
2019: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/22 - 70 pair - 315 fledged
2018: Capacity: 70 - First Scouts: 2/18 - 60 pair - 270 fledged
2017: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 2/25 - 39 pair
2016: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 3/10 - 32 pair
2015: Capacity: 24 - First Scouts: 3/23 - 4 pair

Purple Martins Of South Carolina
2020 Season
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 12:44 pm
Location: Ontario/Burlington

Ya, it takes patience at first. If you can catch a "bait bird" in a in-house trap and put a bird into the repeater then that helps. Once you have a bait bird in there that will draw in the rest.

To start(without a bait bird) I will sometimes scatter millet around the area, if you do it a few days before setting the trap they get use to feeding there, then put the trap over the millet and hope for the best...but it sometimes takes time to get that first one. Once you have one always keep one in the trap (with food and water) so they keep getting attracted to see what the bait bird is up to.

Preferred bait (other than another bird in the trap) I use millet usually. But sometimes nesting material will work better (string, white feathers, cotton). I put some on the tray and behind the elevator to draw them in. I use a little metal clip to hold a number of feathers in place and stop things from blowing away.
Craig Dyer
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 2:24 pm
Location: Nevada, TX
Martin Colony History: Area is rural. Offer 28 compartments...metal housing (Lonestar Goliad) & Supergourds all w/crescent entrance holes. Purple martins are abundant here and eager for quality, well maintained, safe housing. Expect near 100% occupancy this season.

I have had the best luck using cotton balls as bait. I spread a couple around the outside of the trap & a few inside. When house sparrows are nest building they seem to find the cotton irresistible. Good luck, they are wary and cunning little birds.
Craig Dyer
Post Reply