Melissa Fischer. wild in Michigan. naturalist

I will not let you reproduce

In the United States, the House Sparrow is one of three birds not protected by law (the others are the European Starling and Rock Pigeon, also introduced species). House Sparrows sometimes kill adult Bluebirds and other native cavity nesters and their young and smash their eggs. The House Sparrow is partly responsible for the near extinction of Bluebirds in the United States.
info. from…. http://www.avianweb.com/housesparrow

I keep a homemade “carcass” in my freezer and would love to add rotten sparrow eggs over the layers of scrap meat and fat to the container in the freezer. I’m hoping my carcass attracts a fox or coyote someday, but it’s more likely I’ll be feeding a pregnant racoon. Maybe she’ll leave my suet alone.

A House Sparrow nest.

The House Sparrows have claimed this bluebird box as their own. It’s one of the only nests you can legally disturb. Here I am disturbing the nest with a stick, my favorite disturbing tool since childhood. The bluebirds sleep in the boxes, but only build nests in the spring and summer when they’re making babies.

The House Sparrows hog the warmest bluebird box. I've got to check for a contraption that keeps them out soon.

A piece of corn stored in the split tree.

The bark peeled away a few weeks ago and revealed this crack full of corn.

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8 responses

  1. Jodi

    Love the fact that you are helping out the bluebird..they are way prettier to look at! Mean sparrows suck! :)

    February 17, 2011 at 10:52 am

  2. bassenormandie

    How interesting! Our European house sparrows are under threat – mostly from habitat loss – and are in need of our protection. And they’re inoffensive little things. I’ll have to research American house sparrows and the bluebirds they threaten to understand your battle.
    Best,
    Carole from La Fosse – the House on the Hill

    February 24, 2011 at 7:15 am

    • melissakoski

      That is so interesting! My Mom gave me a hard time about being bird prejudice and I’m feeling guilty enough to let them have thier nest and shelter now. I’ll just add more bluebird houses for the Eastern Bluebirds when the ground thaws. Thanks for stopping by Carole!

      February 24, 2011 at 7:35 am

      • bassenormandie

        Hi Melissa – since yesterday I checked… and our European common house sparrow is also Passer domesticus same as yours. And “ours” is a much-loved bird which is increasingly under threat having suffered in the region of a 50% decline since the 1980s, some reports now putting them on the “endangered species” lists. I see from http://www.outdoor-michigan.com/Birds.htm that “your” house sparrow was introduced into the US from about 1850 as pest control! I never knew that!

        I know what you mean about bird species predjudice. I dislike our magpies ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Magpie ) for much the same reasons that you dislike sparrows but I’ve gradually come to the conclusion that nature is nature and if we don’t interfere (too much!) a balance is achieved.

        Magpies will take the occasional egg or babies from nests but the adults will survive to lay another clutch. Whereas the Sparrowhawk – http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Eurasian_Sparrowhawk – (bet you’d like some of those!) will take adult birds in flight preventing the laying of further clutches and causing the death by starvation of any babies already born. And I think Sparrowhawks are fantastic birds. No logic there then!

        So, reluctantly! I’m letting nature manage herself.

        Nice to have encountered you via Freshly Pressed. :-)

        Best,
        Carole

        February 26, 2011 at 3:12 am

        • melissakoski

          Thank you for sharing your research Carole. I have officially given up on discouraging the house sparrows nesting here. (my mother gave me a horrible time about being mean after the nest destroying post and successfully guilted me into giving them a chance) I’m hopeful the House Sparrows will be satisfied with the best nest box and leave the neighboring Eastern Bluebirds alone.

          Your Sparrowhawk looks some what similiar to a hawk I see regularly and have been trying to identify. The hawk I see swoops down on the bluebiords more than the sparrows though!

          Wish my bluebirds luck this upcomign nesting season.

          Warmly,
          Melissa

          February 26, 2011 at 9:19 am

  3. ” I’m hoping my carcass attracts a fox or coyote someday, but it’s more likely I’ll be feeding a pregnant racoon.” I like these little gems you sprinkle in your posts.

    April 9, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    • melissakoski

      (: I’m so glad. I miss my peaceful hours outdoors wondering about animals.

      April 22, 2013 at 11:10 pm

  4. louisva

    Lisa, if it helps any to deal with your prejudice I dislike Pigeons, those nasty city birds; but I love Mourning Doves, their country cousins. Let’s see, I lived in cities and towns for the first 25 years of my life and now have been a country boy for 38 years. Do I see some kind of pattern here?

    April 23, 2013 at 1:52 pm

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