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Old Tuesday 10th April 2012, 16:10   #1
C_Villwock
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A Cure For Sparrows

After years of suffering from large numbers of sparrows visiting my feeder, I have found a cure that is working. I put a link (for reference) below to the feeder that I am using but what I did was block off 8 of the 12 feeding ports and only leave the middle 4 open. I have more of every species visiting the feeder now EXCEPT the sparrow numbers are WAY down. What appears to be happening is the larger flocks of sparrows are not patient enough to wait their turn and are too aggressive with each other to feed with two sparrows so close together and the sparrows fight constantly. Only one sparrow will try to feed while other sparrows constantly try to muscle in and after only a minute the whole lot of them just fly off with most of them not ever getting to the feeder. After about a month of using this system, the larger flocks of sparrows are beginning to ignore my yard and feeder more and more.

http://www.duncraft.com/Squirrel-Pro...-Choice-Feeder


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Old Sunday 22nd April 2012, 19:19   #2
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This is a more forgiving solution than the one referred to in the May 1950 issue of Popular Mechanics Magazine which I happened to be reading the other day (!) wherein it suggests destroying their nests, trapping, or shooting them! It advises laying out an area with bird food, 30 inches wide and 15 feet long, so that a single blast from a shotgun along what is called the 'sparrow cafeteria' will bag from 10 to 50 birds at a time, and frighten survivors so badly they are not likely to return. If this isn't enough, devising a 'deadfall trap' is gone into in great detail, encouraging Sparrows to enter what they think is a nesting box, but is actually a no-return tilting entrance which tips them down a pipe to a waiting bag. What happens when the bag becomes full is not elaborated upon...
I'd like to think we're kinder to birds these days, even if they are a nuisance occasionally.
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Old Monday 23rd April 2012, 16:32   #3
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Just be grateful that you have sparrows & enjoy them. Our Sparrows are in decline here in GB. I have a nestbox for sparrows on the front of my house, used at the moment by Blue Tits. You have too many, i can't get enough, funny old game.
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Old Monday 23rd April 2012, 18:20   #4
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Sounds promising C_. Sitting on our hands and "enjoying" them is not an option. Notice that those that have posted opposition have kept quiet regarding sanctioned efforts to relieve stress caused by invasive species in their own country. Ludicrous to expect people in US to tolerate these things any longer, too much damage continues as a result of them.

Best to avoid the internet and perhaps this forum in the distribution of success.
Where you live, by word of mouth with friends and neighbors will have the greatest impact.
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Old Tuesday 24th April 2012, 07:16   #5
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It's interesting that the same species is in decline in Europe and UK but is doing so well it's considered a pest in the US.

A leading question given another long-running thread about the reason why someone believes this is occuring in UK - are BoP such as Sharp-shinned Hawks in residence in your locale and are they free from persecution?

Personally I believe the issues lie predominantly with availability of food but it would be good to understand your local sparrow-predator situation.
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Old Tuesday 24th April 2012, 07:45   #6
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Quote:
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Sitting on our hands and "enjoying" them is not an option. Notice that those that have posted opposition have kept quiet regarding sanctioned efforts to relieve stress caused by invasive species in their own country.
At the same time, some of the inhumane methods described by James in post two, and widely discussed on US threads dedicated to sparrow removal are intolerable. Invasive species on occasion maybe need to be removed, but I think it is a uniquely US habit, even if only by a minority there, to glorify in the means of exterminating them.
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Old Wednesday 25th April 2012, 20:32   #7
C_Villwock
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UPDATE: It has been two weeks since my last post and six weeks total using this "system".

It has been a huge success!!! 8 weeks ago, I estimate 60% to 80% (depending on the day) of my feed stores went to the sparrow population. Now, I estimate 10% of my feed stores go to the sparrow population!!!

Everyday, I use to have large numbers of sparrows cycling through my yard for hours at a time cleaning out my feeder and aggressively chasing other birds away. That has not happened one time in the last 6 weeks! Luckily, there has been an increase of all other species visiting my feeder and so far there have been no down sides. Even the Red Headed Woodpeckers still visit my feeder everyday.
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Old Wednesday 25th April 2012, 23:58   #8
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Quote:
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At the same time, some of the inhumane methods described by James in post two, and widely discussed on US threads dedicated to sparrow removal are intolerable. Invasive species on occasion maybe need to be removed, but I think it is a uniquely US habit, even if only by a minority there, to glorify in the means of exterminating them.
I share your distaste for the pleasure some people seem to take in cruelty to "pest" species. But uniquely US? I don't think so. Check out the blood curdling posts to some of the UK gray squirrel threads which easily match the worst the US has offer vis--vis House Sparrows.
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Old Thursday 26th April 2012, 01:41   #9
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No one within earshot of this household "glorifies" subject matter. Taken seriously, as it well should be leads to some deep inward moral questioning. To sit idle is in fact every bit as "morally wrong" as the inverse, in my opinion. To suggest that material 62 years old is current, employed, widespread, and ongoing here is utterly ridiculous. Is nothing more than sensationalistic grandstanding. For what reason? Internet "likes" from those reading.

In spirit and with current methods used, controlling house sparrows is absolutely no different than what is currently being done by Ecuador in the Galapagos, with financal aid from both our countries. Or, was that Darwin fella just some kind of crackpot and we're all being scammed?
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Old Thursday 26th April 2012, 11:00   #10
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But uniquely US? I don't think so.
Agreed I should have not used the 'uniquely', a better term would be 'more prevalent'.
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Last edited by Jos Stratford : Thursday 26th April 2012 at 11:25.
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Old Thursday 26th April 2012, 11:13   #11
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Smile

Maybe the USA should start importing English Sparrowhawks, I seem to have read a report somewhere that they've eaten most of the British House Sparrow population!
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Old Thursday 26th April 2012, 11:49   #12
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Maybe the USA should start importing English Sparrowhawks, I seem to have read a report somewhere that they've eaten most of the British House Sparrow population!
In the interests of avoiding any misunderstandings with our American friends, Sparrowhawks have not eaten most of the British House Sparrow population. We still have plenty and they're increasing in some parts of the UK.
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Old Thursday 26th April 2012, 15:03   #13
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Maybe the USA should start importing English Sparrowhawks, I seem to have read a report somewhere that they've eaten most of the British House Sparrow population!
Now there's a plan!
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Old Thursday 26th April 2012, 20:06   #14
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To suggest that material 62 years old is current, employed, widespread, and ongoing here is utterly ridiculous. Is nothing more than sensationalistic grandstanding.
You do not need to go back 62 years, one or two is sufficient to find examples of both use of inhumane methods and persons expressing considerable joy as they describe their means of killing sparrows. Even one came here on Bird Forum not so very long ago, describing the pleasure he got by seeding an area and then waiting to blow the heads of the arriving birds.
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Old Monday 30th April 2012, 07:27   #15
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Quote:
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You do not need to go back 62 years, one or two is sufficient to find examples of both use of inhumane methods and persons expressing considerable joy as they describe their means of killing sparrows. Even one came here on Bird Forum not so very long ago, describing the pleasure he got by seeding an area and then waiting to blow the heads of the arriving birds.
Must of taken quite an effort to find "all" one of them. Certainly widespread by definition.

Do not condone method above, or the slow lingering method to our native species you wish upon us Mr. Stratford. Suggest to my fellow americans that if it is felt house sparrows are detrimental, much help and information is available through local, state, and federal organizations and agencies.
As mentioned in prior post, it is suggested to those in US, that Birdforum is not the site to discuss this issue.
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Old Monday 30th April 2012, 11:21   #16
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Must of taken quite an effort to find "all" one of them.
I merely said one was on Bird Forum, plenty on US sites and forums.



Quote:
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Do not condone method above, or the slow lingering method to our native species you wish upon us Mr. Stratford.

I don't condone any slow lingering method, be it to native species or species that it is felt necessary to cull. Please illustrate where I indicated otherwise.




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As mentioned in prior post, it is suggested to those in US, that Birdforum is not the site to discuss this issue.
Bird Forum has plenty of intellectual informed members from the U.S., and the international readership is also quite intellectual enough to understand arguments for the culling of certain species in certain cases. However, if you feel you can't discuss it on this international forum, then it seems a bit of a case of head in the sand.
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Old Saturday 2nd June 2012, 16:55   #17
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Having just reading this tread and found evidence of what I've heard before! The declining sparrow population in the UK. Well, here in this part of Gloucestershire I can report that without exaggeration, 90% of all birds that visit my bird table and feeders are house sparrows. It has always been like this for the past 12 years I've lived in this house. Anybody want some? What has declined is the greenfinch. I used to get many of those but haven't seen one for many years.
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