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Old Sunday 19th March 2017, 21:43   #1
Endie
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Removing roof: looking to prevent house sparrows nesting before that

I'm removing the roof from my house in order to add an additional storey this year. Each year, I have several pairs of house sparrows that nest in the roof space: it's an old pan-tile roof, very uneven, with dozens of potential nesting spots.

I am pretty at the thought of removing the tiles and finding nests and young there. For this reason, I had arranged to have the build done in the last week of March: the risk involved with Scottish weather should show how seriously I've tried to avoid this happening. I also tried to seal up the obvious entrances with expanding foam last year (to no avail: plenty still nested in the innumerable other gaps) and I've put up another dozen birdboxes around my acre or so of garden, in addition to a similar number I already had.

However, my builder had a hernia of all things, so the build is now delayed until the first week in July, meaning that there will be plenty of sparrows up there unless I can deter them somehow. Reviews on Amazon about various methods all seem mixed at best: do any methods work? Any suggestions?

Last edited by Endie : Sunday 19th March 2017 at 21:52.
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Old Monday 20th March 2017, 20:39   #2
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I think the only temporary solution is to block off as many holes as you can, I wouldn't use expanding foam though as this can lift your roof tiles.
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Old Monday 20th March 2017, 20:50   #3
etudiant
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Doubt there is any solution.
Sparrows are very good at finding nesting sites and an old roof is full of them.
Unless you can put off the roof and structural work until next year, there will be some nest losses from this work.
That suggests you should make your place as unattractive to sparrows as possible in the interim. You probably cannot get a resident sparrow hawk or falconer to stay over, but at least remove all incentives for sparrows to be there.
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Old Monday 20th March 2017, 20:56   #4
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By July most of the young will have fledged so you should only have the odd late or second brood anyway. Can you ask the builder to go back another month? Technically it's illegal to deliberately interfere with a nesting bird......

The nest boxes will need to be on the house to get the sparrows to use them.
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Old Monday 20th March 2017, 21:38   #5
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By July most of the young will have fledged so you should only have the odd late or second brood anyway.
Not sure about that - House Sparrows often nest well on after that, with 3-4 broods regular, and a peak quite late in the summer. If the food's there, they'll nest all year - I've seen newly fledged young being fed by their parents on Boxing Day.
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Old Tuesday 21st March 2017, 07:27   #6
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Not sure about that - House Sparrows often nest well on after that, with 3-4 broods regular, and a peak quite late in the summer. If the food's there, they'll nest all year - I've seen newly fledged young being fed by their parents on Boxing Day.
Agreed ... hence the use of the word 'most'. In my case the 3-4 pairs that nest in my house/buildings rarely have active nests after July. In fact I've never recorded one.

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Old Tuesday 21st March 2017, 12:55   #7
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Sparrows in the roof! I wish that were the least of it. I returned to my weekday digs in north London yesterday to hear distinctly starling like clicks and tweets emanating from the cooker extractor!!. On investigation from outside it seems that they have found their way in through the vent and set up a nest site in the extractor canopy. I now daren't switch the blasted thing on for fear of doing them irreparable damage with the fan. I am going to have a very steamy kitchen for the next few weeks.
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Old Tuesday 21st March 2017, 13:33   #8
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Sparrows in the roof! I wish that were the least of it. I returned to my weekday digs in north London yesterday to hear distinctly starling like clicks and tweets emanating from the cooker extractor!!. On investigation from outside it seems that they have found their way in through the vent and set up a nest site in the extractor canopy. I now daren't switch the blasted thing on for fear of doing them irreparable damage with the fan. I am going to have a very steamy kitchen for the next few weeks.
Hi paul, I noticed you said for the next few weeks which is 3 weeks So presumably the eggs have hatched recently, I may be wrong but thats early for starlings and again I think the seasons are about a month in front, its amazeing how birds know the difference, back in january I saw some herons at their heronry and some sitting too must have felt like february early march to them.

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Old Tuesday 21st March 2017, 17:04   #9
Endie
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Agreed ... hence the use of the word 'most'. In my case the 3-4 pairs that nest in my house/buildings rarely have active nests after July. In fact I've never recorded one.

Mick
Unfortunately the ones in my roofspace, and in the crevices in the wall behind the house - at least in a warm, dry summer like last year - often raise broods all the way through until September.

I say unfortunately: normally it's a delight to have a garden full of nesting birds, but this time it's a bit different :(
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Old Tuesday 21st March 2017, 21:44   #10
Paul Longland
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Hi paul, I noticed you said for the next few weeks which is 3 weeks So presumably the eggs have hatched recently, I may be wrong but thats early for starlings and again I think the seasons are about a month in front, its amazeing how birds know the difference, back in january I saw some herons at their heronry and some sitting too must have felt like february early march to them.
Not sure about that or if just getting started. All I heard was a lot of scrabbling around of claws and starling noises. It didn't sound like young begging for food. I saw an adult coming and going from vent. I doubt they have hatchlings but certainly could be brooding after the recent mild weather in that neck of the woods. Whatever, it is a pain but I would never do anything to jeopardise them. I will certainly be getting the landlord to fix the vent plate before next year!!
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Old Friday 24th March 2017, 14:29   #11
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I had created Mynas in my extractor fan tube in my old place in Hong Kong and a mate had Collared Scops Owls!
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