Purple Martins Scouts Checked Out My…

Purple Martin scout birds were seen checking out my house I set up last spring. However the Sparrows have been trying to move in and they are fighting the Martin scout birds away from the house.

In this area we have 3 or 4 different types of Sparrows, but the most aggressive is the common English house Sparrow.

The English house sparrow is native to most of Europe and the Mediterranean region. In North America it is considered a non-native invasive pest and is not protected under U.S. native song bird laws. It has been characterized as a pest, and poses a threat to native birds. It will eat almost any seeds, but where it has a choice, it prefers oats and wheat.
In my case they raid grain in chicken feeders and scratch placed on the ground to feed my flock of chickens.

I remove their nesting materials from my Martin house daily and given the opportunity I dispatch them with my pellet rifle. However this has not deterred them from continuing to attempt to nest in my Martin house.

In an effort to remove them form the area around the house I am building Sparrow traps. The first trap is nearly completed. It is constructed out of 1/2 X 1 inch welded wire and it is 18 inches wide, 21 inches long and 8 inches tall with 2 entry funnels. With luck I will have it in place and baited before noon today.
Total cost for constructing 2 traps will be around $20.00 or maybe $22.00 US dollars.
** Construction Note: Trap size was based on available wire size. Constructing 2 traps from one 30 X 120 inch roll of wire.

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9 responses to “Purple Martins Scouts Checked Out My…

  1. will you update us about your success or failure… I would love to have Purple Martins in our yard but I am guessing I would have your problem also.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will encourage you to put up a Martin house soon if you want the enjoyment and benefit of Purple Martins. Do as I say not as I did last fall.
      If I had done what I know I needed to do I would not be fighting Sparrows out of my Martin house now.
      Sparrows start nesting a full 30 to 45 day before Purple Martins arrive in this area.
      Had I wrapped my Martin house with a heavy plastic bag last fall when the Purple Martins migrated south for the winter, this years sparrows would have found other nesting areas, before the Martins returned this year.
      So, much of my sparrow problem this year is self inflected.
      Happy Gardening

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Manitoba is flat prairie too but has a lot of small lakes and winding rivers which are tree lined. Those trees provide valuable habitat. Just a little south of us is wheat land with thick black soil. Just a bit north of us is boreal forest. Immediately around is grassland and mixed forest known as parkland. There are patches of the nice black soil but also a lot that is thin and miserable gypsum laden stuff so the farmers are mostly ranchers unless they are lucky enough to have a bit of good soil where they plant a little wheat. We are right near the 51st parallel and past the rain shadow so we get lots of rain, a south wind carries warm air up from the gulf but a north wind blows straight from the arctic and it gets really really cold here. Martins and swallows and other insect eaters aren’t here yet. The red wing black birds only just bombed in last Friday. We are still having heavy frosts every night and we still have snow but it is melting fast daytime.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I get the invasive species thing, but felt a little sad to read this – when the native ones in Catalonia, Spain are suffering a crash in numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m in Manitoba which is central and north. Good luck with your sparrow issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These little sparrows are really territorial so if you can one to nest near your martin house, but not in it, he will do the chase job for you. Consider a second house the sparrow can have about 12 feet away from your Martin House. Same trick works with bluebirds. Wood swallows often compete for blue bird houses. Put bluebird houses in pairs about 12 feet apart and let one go to a wood swallow. The wood swallow will not allow any other wood swallows to take the nearby house but he won’t mind the bluebird neighbour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the hint(s). I live to far west and south and we don’t have bluebirds. This is near treeless country that is and always has been grass lands, ranching mostly beef production. Now days much of it is planted in wheat as well.


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