[CT Birds] What to do about House Sparrows?

james.bair at snet.net james.bair at snet.net
Fri Apr 17 20:05:36 EDT 2009

Dear Donna,

You wrote:

I have a friend who has recently has really taken to birding and making her yard more 'bird friendly'.  Last year, she bought a bird house and had sparrows nest.  This year, she moved the house into the yard as the close proximity to the gazebo created a bit of a problem with bird excrement.  The birds are back now trying to nest under the overhang of the gazebo as they had in years past and she's looking for suggestions to dissuade them from doing so.  She's tried blocking it off and even spraying vinegar on the wood. 

I suggested getting a figure of an owl and placing it there and wondered if anyone had any other ideas.

Some people use fake snakes successfully.

But if your friend is not too sensitive, the House Sparrow (a.k.a. English Sparrow) is a non-native species and is not protected by any laws. Many consider it a nuisance bird. Your friend can take the nest and do whatever she wants with it. A well-known caretaker of a bluebird trail would empty out any bluebird houses that had House Sparrow nests in them. If the boxes had Tree Swallow nests in them, he would leave them alone since the Tree Swallow is a native species.

Jim Bair

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