Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sparrows Instead of Bluebirds

Sunday afternoon, when I saw the male bluebird at the nesting box, I was so enamored with him that I didn't even notice the female off to the side. I was organizing my pictures on the computer later in the week and spotted her in the picture. I'm really glad now that they chose not to nest here because...

the house sparrows have had a very keen interest in the nesting box. They are very aggressive and territorial with nesting boxes and will kill nesting bluebirds and their young. I've been checking and so far they haven't built a nest, they just keep going in and out of the box. I probably will cover the hole and not allow them to nest there. Hopefully next year the bluebirds can use it, but it would be unsafe for them this year.

10 comments:

shirl said...

Hi there Robin, I popped by yesterday returning today to leave a comment on your birds and Nestbox :-(

I can completely understand how disappointed you must be that the house sparrow has now discovered your wonderful new nesting box. I can also understand your desire to block it up. I don’t what’s best for your nesting birds. It would have been fantastic for you to have had a bluebird brood in your nestbox!

I have been very disappointed with my camera nestbox after our blue tit pair decided to shun it for another I put up only so that there were enough to go around. I was gutted that they were visiting that one. I took the brave step of blocking the entrance so that they would return to the camera box only to watch them visit my garden less. After five days I decided to open it again as it looked like I would see no nesting at all. Within 15 mins they were back at it again.

To cut a long story short I am now thrilled to say there is some nesting material in our camera box. Is there some in the new one as well – I don’t know. Nesting birds are very unpredictable. It is too early to tell if the camera box will have a completed nest and eggs laid.

Finally, I cannot believe you have mallards in your garden and if they make a nest that will be something to watch this Spring! Have a great weekend :-D

Lisa at Greenbow said...

House Sparrows are a real bane to the bluebirds. I wish you luck in discouraging them.

jodi said...

I'm so sorry about the bluebirds, Robin. Darn those house sparrows! How come the pesty, boring birds are never the ones that are scarce (yeah, I know the answer, it was just a rhetorical comment.) Hopefully the sparrows will move on somewhere else but thatthe bluebirds will at least visit regularly.

mon@rch said...

I am lucky not to have house sparrows around my house but was honored to see the bluebirds in my yard were visiting the box they produces young twice last year!

Grandma P said...

If you will put another blue bird box about 15 ft. from your first one, the sparrows (who are territorial) will probably nest in one of the boxes and the blue birds may then nest in the other one. That's my hubby's advice and we've had bluebirds for several years. Good Luck!

vonlafin said...

I have the same problem, I just keep pulling their nesting material out until they give up. I haven't even seen any bluebirds yet?

Kerri said...

How lucky you are to have bluebirds! We have 3 nesting boxes up but so far only the chickadees and tree swallows have used them. The T Swallows are fun to have around, but they chased out the chickadees who began a nest, and then after building on top of the chickadee nest, they eventually abandoned it, and no one used it. I hope we see babies of some sort this year.
We also have plenty of sparrows!

Heather O. said...

Just stumbled across your blog--what pretty pictures!

We had the same problem with sparrows and bluebirds! Originally, I just knocked out their nest and moved the box, but they found it fairly quickly. The bluebirds I had seen in March were nowhere to be found. So I did what another commenter did. I put up another box, which the house sparrows immediately claimed. I have seen the blubeirds at the original box again every day, and sometimes the female brings sticks and stuff, which I can only assume means they are nesting. I also saw the male bluebird chase off the male sparrow yesterday, so I am hopeful that the bluebirds have chosen to stay.

I'm debating putting up yet another box, either to entice another bluebird pair, or perhaps some Carolina Chickadees. I saw them on and off in early March, checking out the box before the other birds showed up, so I know they're around. (We live in Southern Virginia)

Anyway, thanks for the pictures. Fun blog!

Anna said...

Well, that makes me sad. I was looking forward to pictures of bluebirds.

CDarby said...

You can make a "sparrow spooker" that goes on top of the box to keep the house sparrows away! Bluebirds don't mind it at all. Google it -they're easy to make.
Cathy