There is a newer design for nest boxes that is claimed to be liked less by sparrows. Instead of being long vertically it is long horizontally. The design was in an old magazine I believe either Birds and Blooms or Garden Gate but I'm unsure. If you want to devote the boxes to swallows you can put an entrance slot on the underside as swallows don't mind this kind of entry. I have also read research that boxes made of PVC are liked less by sparrows but you need to rough up the interior and place in a spot that is shaded in the afternoon. Just keep in mind that if you allow the sparrows to nest successfully in the boxes their descendents will be more likely to look for boxes to nest. There is nothing worse than finding a pecked to death bluebird with a house sparrow nest built on top, I speak from experience. Kevin
----- Original Message -----
From: Barbara Powers<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 11:36 AM
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] house sparrow eviction questions
If you attached a guard around the opening of the box, the bluebirds & tree
swallows can get in but not the unwanted birds. It might be worth a try.
>From: "Lawrence, Miriam" <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>Reply-To: Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: [VTBIRD] house sparrow eviction questions
>Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2005 10:12:58 -0400
>While most of our nestboxes are, at the moment, happily inhabited by tree
>swallows and one bluebird nest (with 5 eggs as of this morning), I
>discovered this morning that one box contained a new house sparrow nest and
>two eggs (presumably laying was still ongoing).
>I am not of a mind to trap and kill either adult or baby sparrows (I know
>the ethical debate rages over this one) but I have no problem with other
>forms of both passive and active management, including spookers, nest
>removal, and rendering eggs infertile. In this case I removed the nest and
>the eggs, which are now in the refrigerator, but I have read that males
>with the box and will likely just keep on rebuilding there at a rapid clip.
>I can keep removing the nest material if that's the case. I've read that
>perhaps a better approach is rendering eggs infertile and leaving them in
>the nest so that the female will keep incubating them for a few weeks and
>get nowhere, and finally abandon the nest -- meanwhile she hasn't sought
>a home elsewhere, and there's less chance the male will get aggressive as a
>result of the nest removal and go around mauling other birds (apparently
>some folks claim this can happen).
>My main concerns at this point is preventing the sparrows from making more
>sparrows, and making sure that the swallows and bluebirds using our other
>boxes dont' get injured or killed. I'm willing to sacrifice one box to an
>infertile sparrow couple if that's the best route to accomplishing those
>I'm wondering if anyone has experience with management methods other than
>trapping or killing, and if so, what you've found works the best. Is it
>better to remove the nest altogether or to render eggs infertile and
>them in the nest? Any other suggestions?
>By the way, we do not have any feeders out right now, nor do we have any
>barns or sheds on our property, so we're not doing anything to encourage
>sparrows' general presence here. That's probably why we don't have a huge
>problem -- yet. I'd like to keep it that way.
>Thanks for any suggestions.