Monday, July 14, 2008
House Sparrows Evicted
A new development with the Determined Sparrows. I have to look at this situation again.
This morning, like every morning, when I got up I pulled the curtains back from one of my bedroom windows to see how the birds are doing in my backyard habitat. Immediately I saw that the Purple Martins were in distress. After dressing, shaving, and having breakfast I went out to my shed to get my gloves. I was going to lower the Purple Martin birdhouse and check out what was going on with the six apartments. As I approached the PM birdhouse, the male/female pair of Determined Sparrows darted out off of their perch at the base of the PM birdhouse. They act like they own the whole PM birdhouse and the Purple Martins are visitors at their pleasure. The Purple Martins dispersed as I lowered their birdhouse. The first three apartments I checked on the front contained baby Purple Martins in two of them. The third apartment was empty. Those must have been the new baby Purple Martins that have been testing their wings by soaring around their birdhouse the past week. I checked the back apartments. The Determined Sparrows have their nest in the bottom apartment. The top right apartment was still empty. This was the same apartment where I found two dead baby Purple Martins. The top apartment on the left had baby Purple Martins in the back. There were very quiet. Perhaps fearing the Determined Sparrows. I feel so bad for these birds. They have so much to fear where they should have no fear. Then I checked the bottom apartment. As I thought, it was crammed full of twigs, straw and bits of plastic trash. A typical house sparrow bird nest. I tore it all out and threw it in the cornfield near next to my backyard. As I threw our their nesting material I saw three house sparrow brown speckled eggs. I didn't care. Good riddance. I returned to the PM birdhouse and raised it up to it's previous height. The Purple Martins returned, much quieter than before. The Determined house sparrows also returned. Of course they checked their apartment first and, seeing no nesting material in it, flitted out on the perch and looked my way. The rest of the Purple Martins returned, this time much calmer. The Determined Sparrows continued to flit back and forth between their perch near the opening of their nest and my neighbor's tree. I guess they were looking for their nest. I went to the edge of my property and picked up what was left of their nest and placed it at the bottom of the Purple Martin birdhouse. Then I left. Later, as I was getting ready to meet friends in Lewes for lunch, I saw the pair of house sparrows checking out their nesting material at the bottom of the PM birdhouse. I also saw one of the sparrows exiting one of the Purple Martin apartments. They were probably checking for their eggs. I hope they're not going to kill any more of the Purple Martins babies that are nesting in their birdhouse. I realize that some who read this blog feel that I should provide space for the house sparrows but I have decided that I will not. There is plenty of space in other locations for them to build a bird nest. I will not permit them to build any more of their trashy bird nests in my birdhouses. To me, the house sparrows are like the neighborhood bully. They bully their way in and take what they want. I have had comments from other readers of my blog which encourage me to be a "good landlord" and get rid of these house sparrows, which are an invasive species. I'm coming to the point where I agree with these readers. I don't want to destroy them but if that is what is necessary, I may have to do that. Now I see why my Father kept a bee bee gun next to his cornfield. I remember all the times I used to chastise him for (what I perceived) was his cruelty towards the sparrows and starlings, now I see what he was trying to do. He was protecting the bluebird trail of bird boxes that surrounded his 2 acres of garden from the sparrows and starlings. He was successful. Eventually, the house sparrows figured out that it was useless to continue to try and build nests in his bluebird houses. I don't know how long it took him to convince them of that fact, but he did. I don't like to destroy any living thing but just as I am destroying the devastating onslaught of Japanese beetles that I have now, I will get rid of the house sparrows. Hopefully, but tearing out their nest enough times they will get the message.