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I agree 100% about it not being personal.  House sparrows, like any animal,
are just doing what they're adapted to do to survive, and they're great
survivors.  This is a very good essay along these exact lines that makes a
very objective and reasoned argument about these birds and why, despite the
fact that they are not "evil," it makes sense to try to control their
numbers: http://www.sialis.org/hospbehavior.htm

It's not entirely true that eliminating individuals makes no difference.
According to the research I've read, that depends very much on other
factors, such as how populated the surrounding area is, whether the
neighbors are feeding the birds, how close nest boxes are to buildings, etc.


If you maintain a bluebird trail in a rural area, getting rid of individual
sparrows can apparently make a big difference, because it is not a given
that new ones will immediately appear to take their place.  Male birds are
particularly important; they are polygamous and breed with multiple females
simultaneously, and they are also the ones that do physical harm to the
native species. 

By the way, Mundi, if you feed birds and want to eliminate house sparrows,
make sure to avoid food that contains millet and corn.  The sparrows love
that stuff (although we still get them at our feeders to partake of whatever
we're serving).

Miriam Lawrence
Monkton

-----Original Message-----
From: Vermont Birds [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Eric
Cannizzaro
Sent: Thursday, May 25, 2006 3:33 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] a sad loss

I think we need to keep in mind that House Sparrows aren't "evil" birds. 
They, just like the native birds, are using techniques and methods that are 
beneficial to the survival of their species. It is not as if  these Sparrows

(and Starlings) came to the Americas with the intent of killing other cavity

nesters. Yes, House Sparrows are a problem but its not personal, trapping 
and killing a few individuals will only get out your frustration, it wont 
stop them from coming back. I think there is allot of misdirected anger 
around this issue.

Eric Cannizzaro
South Burlington