house sparrows on outer farms

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gray fox
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:13 am
Location: Tyrone, PA

Sparrows aren't controlled on a farm 200 yards away. I think these house sparrows cause a problem why Im not getting bluebirds. I hope they don't start hitting my martins. We can't control other people. Appreciate any help.
Whippy
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged

G Fox,

Not sure of your relationship with your neighbors etc but a good conversation can bring good results. Maybe your neighbors are in the same mind set as you about attracting native birds. You never know. You might create an alliance in the area and get everybody on board to eliminate the sparrows.

Show them the value of having a Purple Martin colony. Offer assistance in getting them started. Mention the same about Blue Birds. Make it clear that the sparrows, along with starlings, are not native species and the harm they do cause to native species. All of this I know you probably thought about so sorry to step on any toes here but, one thing I've learned in life is...the answer is always no if you don't ask the question. The perfect example of this is how I acquired my Trio Wade from the neighbors who neglected it out of lack of education.. I spent days wondering how to pull it off then I just asked the lady if I could move it. She said yes. Problem solved. It was that simple.

Maybe take a blue bird box with you and a sampling of the martin activity on your cell phone in the form of a movie. Demonstrate the value in each.

Might be a good opportunity to start something good in the area. Increase blue bird numbers and increase Martin colonies. People like to react positively to receiving an added value to their life.

Just a thought I had.

Coolwhips
GFB
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:05 pm
Location: Ontario NY
Martin Colony History: I Started my first colony with my father in the late 1960's. Started building custom vinyl Martin houses last year 2018 and was successful with 10 birds fledged and it looks like several dozen birds are hanging around. Time to expand.
2018: 1 T-14 and 6 gourds. Fledged 10
2019: 2 T-14's and 6 gourds. Fledged 70

G Fox,
As Whippy said It can't hurt to have a talk with your neighbor. As a fellow farmer I know farmers have a terrible problem with flies on livestock, and as far as I know Martins can devastate a fly population, I don't have a problem with flies at all anymore. Maybe if you are or know someone handy with tools you could offer to build a sparrow trap for them.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2920
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

House sparrows have a small home range. At my old house I had cattle farms on both sides of my 1 acre yard. One was 100 yards or less from my housing. The first year I killed over 100 sparrows. After several years I killed less and less each year. Close to 8 years in and I was only trapping/shooting around 5 a year. So you can make a big dent in the local sparrow population. What ever control method you decide to use, keep with it and it will pay off. The more HOSP you kill the more native birds you will see.
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
Bird Brain
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:22 am
Location: Highland Village, TX
Martin Colony History: 2017-nothing
2018-1 visitor
2019-nothing
2020-the most visitors/activity by far after making many site improvements. Unsuccessful SY Male visited for 2 weeks.

I would install a repeating nest box trap as close to the neighbor as possible. Eventually they will all make there way over there. Believe it or not, the reproductive urge to claim a nest box cavity is stronger than the urge to eat.

https://www.purplemartin.org/shop/produ ... -box-trap/
Every time I kill a house sparrow, I make the world a better place.
Spiderman
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

flyin-lowe wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:49 pm
House sparrows have a small home range. At my old house I had cattle farms on both sides of my 1 acre yard. One was 100 yards or less from my housing. The first year I killed over 100 sparrows. After several years I killed less and less each year. Close to 8 years in and I was only trapping/shooting around 5 a year. So you can make a big dent in the local sparrow population. What ever control method you decide to use, keep with it and it will pay off. The more HOSP you kill the more native birds you will see.
I have found the same to be true for Starlings, each year I catch less and less. Once you get past the hump they are much easier to keep under control.

Now we have 4 different types of woodpeckers that nest in our yard including pileated woodpeckers.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED
gray fox
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:13 am
Location: Tyrone, PA

I have caught less sparrows each year. There still a few around that Im not catching. There the ones causing the problem.
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

We live on over 2 acres. Both of my neighbors to the right of us have bluebird houses as we do. We have a bluebird trail along with a couple of other neighbors. However the two neighbors to the right of us also put out millet, which house sparrows love, to attract the painted buntings who also like millet. I have tried to educate them both, have shown them actual pictures, that are hard to look at, of the cruel and deadly devastation that HS can do to their bluebirds AND my martins. But they choose to ignore it because they want the buntings to come to their birdbaths and feeders. One can only do so much to try and educate.
We had some house sparrows at the beginning of our journey as landlords but after eliminating them we rarely see one now. If we do it seems like all we have to do is make ourselves known and they leave. Apparently we are far enough away from the neighbors and the HS have learned that our property is not a safe place to be. We only feed nyger and safflower seeds and have beautiful song birds visit our feeders and birdbaths. Hopefully that will continue. We still keep our trusty pellet gun handy though.
Now if only there was a legal way to get the hawks to stay away.
Bird Brain
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:22 am
Location: Highland Village, TX
Martin Colony History: 2017-nothing
2018-1 visitor
2019-nothing
2020-the most visitors/activity by far after making many site improvements. Unsuccessful SY Male visited for 2 weeks.

You will never catch all the HOSP, never, regardless of the style of trap. Ultimately, a pellet gun and open cavities is the only way for complete elimination. I leave my housing open all year long for this reason. My neighbor feeds millet. They soon discover my open cavities. They soon die. The reproductive urge to claim a cavity is stronger than the urge to eat. My millet feeding neighbor draws them in. I lure them away from my neighbor with my open cavities. They don’t last long after that. I must admit. I have a great pellet gun and a great cloak. My neighbor’s behavior used to bother me. Now I use it to my advantage. After all these years, he still has no idea. Thanks to his millet and my open cavities working in conjunction, I estimate HOSP elimination for at least a 1/4 mile radius.
Every time I kill a house sparrow, I make the world a better place.
gray fox
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:13 am
Location: Tyrone, PA

I agree with you bird brain that I won't catch all the house sparrows. I could ask the farmer I have bird housing on to shoot house sparrows with bird shoot. Its too dangerous house a 22.
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