How to Deter Sparrows from your Bluebird Houses
One frequently asked question in the spring is how to keep sparrows away from bluebird boxes. House Sparrows are very clever and very persistent. You must repeatedly remove any nests that sparrows have built and leave the clean out door of the house open until the sparrows give up guarding the house.
The Peterson's Bluebird House, designed by Dick Peterson of Brooklyn Center, MN is a relatively new design that mimics natural woodpecker nests, a bluebird’s preferred nesting choice. It has an oval-shaped opening, narrow width and the small floor size to expedite nest completion. But I don’t think I would call it sparrow resistant.
The only house I’ve found to deter sparrows some of the time is the Slot Box nest. The Slot Box design, as the name suggests, has a small slot below the roof for birds to enter instead of a round or oval hole. According to research at the University of Kentucky, bluebirds will use a slot entrance while sparrows prefer the round opening. In addition, sparrows don't like these shallower boxes and bluebirds don't seem to mind. Another advantage, is that the slot design makes it much easier for bluebirds to escape from the house in case a house sparrow enters to attack the bluebird. However field experience has shown that sparrows can adapt to many nesting locations and the slot box won’t deter all sparrows.
If a sparrow is staking out one of your bluebird boxes, clear out the nest and open the box for a few days until the male sparrow leaves. If a bluebird family has already started to make a house and sparrows are harassing them you can put up a sparrow spooker. Basically once the bluebirds are committed to a nesting site you can hang shiny flutter ribbon above the birdhouse (you can find this "scare tape" at our stores). Studies have shown that certain bird species, including house sparrows, will not fly under the ribbon. For more detailed plans to make your own sparrow spooker, click HERE to visit the very informative Sialis.org website.
- Ultimate Bluebird House http://bit.ly/xeGs0e
- Feeding and Raising Bluebirds http://bit.ly/A39dAh
- How to Protect My Bluebird House http://bit.ly/zI48Ts
- 5 Tips to Attract Birds to Nest in your Bird Houses http://bit.ly/yNT6Ye
- When is the best time to put up a bird house? http://bit.ly/yAI123
- Bluebird House Designs http://bit.ly/w7FWRE